Order on Consent – Dr. Paul Phelan

The College of Physicians and Surgeons of PEI received a complaint on October 4, 2021, by SM regarding Dr. Phelan’s care of her elderly parent during the months of August and September 2021. SM alleged that Dr. Phelan failed to perform a physical exam and failed to provide proper medical care, among other allegations regarding her elderly parent.

The Investigation Committee investigated the complaint and discovered evidence of documentary irregularities. This was included as an allegation against Dr. Phelan in the discipline process. The investigation revealed that Dr. Phelan stated in chart documents that he had performed physical exams, but during the investigation, Dr. Phelan stated that he would speak to the patient from the door, but would not enter the patient’s room. He admitted that he billed for these visits.
After investigating the complaint, the Investigation Committee regarded this information as evidence of professional misconduct as defined in the now-repealed Medical Act Regulations, as follows:

 XI, 1. For the purposes of Part IV of the Medical Act, “professional misconduct” 
 constitutes a failure to maintain the standards of practice of the professional 
 and includes:
              (v)   charging or accepting a fee for services not performed, other than for 
                       the cancellation of an appointment within a reasonable time before 
                       the appointment according to a written policy of the medical practitioner, 
                       if the patient has received prior notification of the policy, and a method 
                       is available for patients to notify the medical practitioner of cancellations;

               (x)  signing or issuing in the medical practitioner’s professional capacity 
                       a document which the medical practitioner knows or ought to know is 
                       false or misleading

The Committee determined that several orders should be issued, and Dr. Paul Phelan accepted the findings of the Investigation Committee and consented to the following orders:

  1. The Registrar will issue a reprimand to Dr. Paul Phelan;
  2. Dr. Paul Phelan is required to successfully complete a course in Negligence and Civil Liability, by CMPA or similar, within 6 months of the day that Dr. Phelan signs indicating consent to the orders; and
  3. Dr. Paul Phelan will pay a fine in the amount of one thousand dollars ($1,000) to the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Prince Edward Island within 30 days of the day that Dr. Phelan signs indicating consent to the orders; and
  4. Dr. Paul Phelan will pay the costs of the investigation of the complaint in the amount of three thousand dollars ($3,000) to the College within 30 days.
    Upon completion of the requirements of these orders, the discipline process pertaining to the SM complaint against Dr. Phelan will be concluded.

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