As of July 2018, physicians, optometrists, and nurse practitioners are required, by law, to inform the Ministry of Transportation (MTO) of any patients who may be medically unfit to drive. The reporting requirements include a prescribed list of high-risk medical conditions, vision conditions, and functional impairments that must be brought to the MTO’s attention.
Conditions that Must be Reported
Physicians and nurse practitioners are required to report high risk medical conditions, functional impairments, and visual impairments of any patients 16 years or older. These are:
Any disorders that result in cognitive impairments which:
- Affect attention, judgment and problem solving, planning and sequencing, memory, insight, reaction time or visuospatial perception; and
- Results in substantial limitation of the person’s ability to perform activities of daily living.
Any disorder that:
- has a moderate or high risk of sudden incapacitation; or
- which has resulted in sudden incapacitation with a moderate or high risk of recurrence.
Motor or Sensory Impairment
Any condition or disorder resulting in severe motor impairment that affects:
- muscle strength and control;
- motor planning;
- touch; or
- positional sense.
Substance Use Disorders
A diagnosis of an uncontrolled substance use disorder (other than caffeine and nicotine) where the patient is non-compliant with treatment recommendations.
A condition or disorder that involves acute psychosis or severe abnormalities of perception (e.g. schizophrenia, bipolar disorders, trauma or stressor-related disorders, dissociative disorders, or neurocognitive disorders) or where a patient:
- has a suicide plan involving a vehicle; or
- has a suicidal plan involving a vehicle or intent to use a vehicle to harm others.
- Best corrected visual acuity that is less than 20/50;
- A visual field that is less than 120 continuous degrees along the horizontal meridian or less than 15 continuous degrees above and below fixation, or less than 60 degrees to either side of the vertical midline;
- Diplopia that is within 40 degrees of fixation point (in all directions) of primary position
Optometrists’ Obligation to Report Vision Impairments
Optometrists are only required to report visual impairments. Optometrists must report on the visual impairments listed above.
In addition to these mandatory reporting requirements, optometrists also have the discretionary authority to report vision conditions that, in their opinion, make it dangerous for a patient to drive.
Both mandatory and discretionary reports should be made on the appropriate forms available on the Ministry of Transportation website, where instructions on how to fill them in are also found.
The form includes drop down selections for the most frequently reported conditions that warrant a license suspension for ease of completion. There is also a section entitled “other” that allows a health care practitioner to report any high-risk condition that is not listed.
The forms require reporting of:
- The name, address, and date of birth of the person being reported;
- The condition or impairment diagnosed or identified; and
- A brief description of the condition or impairment.
If you have questions about these reporting obligations, or any other professional obligation, contact Wise Health Law. We have more than 30 years of combined experience in representing regulated health professionals and health organizations. We provide our clients with expert legal guidance and have been recognized for our knowledge and excellent work by regulatory colleges, professional associations, and other lawyers. With offices in both Toronto and Oakville, Ontario we are easily accessible to professionals throughout South-Western Ontario. Contact us online, or at 416-915-4234 for a consultation.