Conflict of Interest

Recently Updated Updated: August 1, 2017

Date Approved: June 22, 2017

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1.  Recognizing and Avoiding Conflict of Interest

Physiotherapists must recognize and manage situations that may result in a real, potential, or perceived conflict of interest. 

Physiotherapists should avoid any situation that may result in a conflict of interest whenever possible.

If it is not possible to avoid a conflict of interest, physiotherapists must:

  • Disclose and discuss the situation with the patient before providing the services

  • Make the patient aware of practical alternatives if there are any

  • Document the discussion in the patient’s record.

2.  Recommending Products or Services

Physiotherapists must not recommend products or services to patients that are not clinically indicated.

If a physiotherapist suggests that a patient purchase a product or service in which the physiotherapist or their relative has a financial interest, then the physiotherapist must:

  • Disclose the nature of the financial interest to the patient in advance

  • Make the patient aware of any practical alternative sources for the product or service

  • Assure the patient that if they choose an alternate supplier, it will not adversely affect their care

  • Document the discussion in the patient’s record.

3.  Benefits for Referrals

Physiotherapists must not give any benefit to another person, or receive any benefit from another person, for a patient referral. 

Physiotherapists must make referrals based on patient need. When making referrals, physiotherapists must make the patient aware of a range of practical alternatives.

Legislative Reference

Ontario Regulation 388/08 under the Physiotherapy Act
Professional Misconduct: Section 1, paras 1, 5 and 36


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