OHS Canada Magazine

Nova Scotia creates ‘safe zones’ around homes of senior health officials


March 28, 2022
By OHS Canada

Legislation

Nova Scotia is planning legislation to protect the safety of senior health officials and other health service providers in their homes.

The move comes after some protesters started taking up positions outside private residences.

Amendments to the Protecting Access to Health Services Act, introduced March 24, will protect provincial health officials and members of their families from harassment and intimidation by establishing a safe zone around their private residences, the province said.

“Nova Scotians have a right to protest, but protesters cannot be allowed to harass, intimidate or stalk people in their own homes. That is unacceptable,” said Minister of Justice and Attorney General Brad Johns.

“This legislation protects the people making important public health decisions on behalf of all Nova Scotians – and their families.”

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The amendments expand on legislation introduced last fall to ensure patients and health service providers access to or provision of health services at hospitals and other healthcare facilities.

The legislation established a 50-metre access or safe zone – a bubble – around facilities so patients and health providers can access healthcare facilities. The law also applies to patients receiving care in their homes.

The amendments will expand the definition of “health service facility” to include private residences of health service providers. The amendments will also expand the definition of “health service provider” to include senior officials and other executive decision-makers in the health sector.

Fines under the amended Protecting Access to Health Services Act will range from $5,000 for individuals to $100,000 for corporations

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