Some diseases, poisonings and infections must be reported to public health officials. They are called "reportable diseases."
To be reportable, the disease, poisoning or infection must meet the following conditions:
- There is a risk that other people in the population will catch them. For example, this is the case with contagious diseases or infections.
- They have been medically recognized as being able to cause serious health problems to the people affected.
One reason for required reporting is to protect the population from public health threats, that is, against epidemics. It is a process that allows officials to prevent health threats, keep watch over the health of the population, and avoid the quick spread of certain diseases.
These are some examples of diseases, poisonings and infections that are reportable diseases:
- chlamydia infection
- poisoning following a major gas leak
- HIV infection or AIDS, only if the person infected has received or given blood or tissues
For a complete list of reportable diseases, visit the website of the ministry of health and social services (website section in French only).
Notifying Officials About a Reportable Disease
When doctors or medical laboratories diagnose a reportable disease, they have a duty to let public health officials know. Other health professionals who make diagnoses, such as nurse practitioners, can also report this type of disease.
Reportable diseases can be reported to the following public health officials:
- regional public health directors
- provincial public health director
- minister of health and social services
These are some examples of the information that doctors, laboratories and other authorized personnel must provide to public health officials:
- name of the reportable disease
- name of the person with the disease, gender, date of birth, address and postal code, telephone number and health-insurance card number (medicare card number)
- date of laboratory tests and results, if relevant
- information about the health professional or laboratory that reported the disease (name, licence number, telephone numbers)
For HIV and AIDS, there are different reporting requirements. For example, the name of the infected person will not be revealed.
For more information on reportable diseases, visit the website of the ministry of health and social services (website section in French only).
This article explains in a general way the law that applies in Quebec. This article is not a legal opinion or legal advice. To find out the specific rules for your situation, consult a lawyer or notary.