The Ontario Dental Hygienists’ Association (ODHA) supports member dental hygienists in Ontario. ODHA has and continues to advocate with the Government of Ontario to change the law as outlined in the Regulated Health Professions Act (RHPA) by passing a “spousal exception” regulation under the Dental Hygiene Act. Until the Government of Ontario agrees to this change, it is against the law for dental hygienists to treat their spouse.
The association is aware of a number of cases over the past several years where registered dental hygienists have had their certificates of registration (license) revoked by the College of Dental Hygienists of Ontario (CDHO) for treating a spouse. Enforcement of this regulation is a mandate of the CDHO and not ODHA. CDHO doesn’t really have any options – the legislation is very clear and requires that the revocation take place and that the public register record the reason (sexual abuse of a patient). There is more information on the CDHO website.
ODHA understands the importance of spousal exception to our members and will continue to work with the Ministry of Health to move this regulation into the legislative timetable. Until there is a regulation in place, ODHA will also continue to advise dental hygienists in Ontario to practice in compliance with the law to preserve their ability to practice in Ontario.
Read ODHA’s media release here.