Protection du public

Protection of the Public

The Order is Here for You

The Ordre des médecins vétérinaires du Québec (the Order) regulates the professional practice of Québec’s 2,600 veterinarians in the interest of protecting the public.

To fulfil this mission, the Order oversees the practice of the profession, ensures the advancement and development of the skills and knowledge of its members and regulates the standards of professional practice. In doing so, the Order is supporting the public’s access to quality care and services at the cutting edge of technology in keeping with the rapid pace of development in the field of veterinary medicine.                                                                                                                                          

The Order works diligently on ensuring that its members comply with existing laws and regulations, including the Code of Ethics of Veterinary Surgeons and standards of practice. The Order also monitors and promotes the continuing professional development of its members and applies disciplinary sanctions when needed.

  • Every year, the Board of Directors of the Order adopts a general monitoring program for the practice of veterinary medicine.

    The Order’s Professional Inspection Committee – supported by inspectors, investigators and experts – is tasked with overseeing the practice of veterinary medicine. It does so through professional inspection visits. During these visits, the Order audits the files, books, registers, medications, products, substances, devices and equipment of a member.  This helps evaluate the member’s professional practice, record keeping, compliance with standards and adherence to existing laws and regulations.

    At the end of the professional inspection visit, the member is informed of the corrective action to be taken, if applicable. The member is also asked to provide a list of all the measures that will be implemented to remedy the problems identified during the inspection. The Committee then follows up with the member as required.

    If the Committee deems it necessary, it can also make a recommendation to the Board of Directors compelling a member to successfully complete a refresher course or development training. In addition, the Committee can recommend the restriction or suspension of a member’s licence to practise until certain conditions are met.                                                                                                  

  • The Order must ensure that veterinarians maintain and develop their skills throughout their working lives.

    As such, veterinarians are required to complete 40 hours of professional development training every two years.

    Professional development activities must provide veterinarians with the opportunity to acquire, maintain, upgrade, improve or expand the knowledge, skills and abilities required for the practice of veterinary medicine in Québec, and must comply with practice standards, as well as existing legal and regulatory obligations.

    To learn more about the obligations of veterinarians with regard to continuing professional development, please refer to the Order’s professional development policy (french only).

  • As part of its mandate, the Order also protects the public from individuals involved in the illegal practice of veterinary medicine or the unauthorized use of veterinary titles.

    Illegal practice involves the practice of veterinary medicine by an unlicensed individual –someone who does not hold a licence issued by the Order – who performs (or presents himself or herself to the public as being capable of performing) the following activities:

    • Providing veterinary advice;
    • Performing a pathological examination on an animal;
    • Issuing veterinary diagnoses;
    • Prescribing medications for animals;
    • Performing surgery on an animal;
    • Treating a medical or surgical veterinary disorder by using a mechanical, physical, chemical, biological or radiotherapy process;
    • Approving or rejecting the meat of domestic animals for consumption.

    What should I do if I witness the illegal practice of veterinary medicine?

    The Office of the Syndic is responsible for investigating potential instances of illegal practice of veterinary medicine. If you believe you have been witness to the illegal practice of veterinary medicine, please complete the Report Form for the Illegal Practice of Veterinary Medicine and send it to bureau.syndic@omvq.qc.ca.

    After its investigation, the Office of the Syndic can ask the Order’s Board of Directors for authorization to take legal action against the individual alleged to be violating the Québec Veterinary Surgeons Act and the Professional Code.

    Protecting the public from charlatans

    Only veterinarians listed on the roll of the Order des médecins vétérinaires du Québec are qualified and authorized to delivery veterinary care to animals. To make sure the veterinarian you are dealing with is a member in good standing, consult the search function of our Website.

  • Your Right to Choose

    Veterinarians must respect your privacy and integrity as well as that of your pet. You have the right to refuse a treatment, in part or in whole. In addition, you should always feel free to consult another veterinarian for a second opinion on your pet’s condition. You can also consult your pet’s medical file and obtain a copy of it for a reasonable fee. Conditions may apply in certain facilities.

    Your Right to Information

    When you use the services of a veterinarian, you must be informed of the cost of the treatments and medications that will be administered. You are also entitled to an explanation of your pet’s health condition and treatments. The veterinarian must obtain your free and informed consent before going forward with any procedure.

    Your Right to Impartial Service

    Veterinarians must avoid all conflicts of interest. They cannot place their own interests ahead of your or your pet’s interests or place themselves in situations where their judgement and loyalty toward you or your pet are negatively impacted. Veterinarians must respect your values and culture, build trust with you and your pet and maintain their professional independence.

    1. Form

      If you believe a veterinarian has violated the Code of Ethics governing the practice of veterinary medicine, you can:                                                                  

      1. Fill out the form Request for an Inquiry into the Professional Conduct of a Veterinarian, sign it and send it to bureau.syndic@omvq.qc.ca with all relevant documents required for the review of your application.

      OR

      1. Write a letter, sign it and send it to bureau.syndic@omvq.qc.ca with all relevant documents required for the review of your application

      This letter must include as much information as possible, including:

      1. The names of the veterinarian(s)
      2. The nature of your complaint
      3. The reason(s) you consulted the veterinarian
      4. The place where the consultations or events occurred
      5. A description of the steps you took to resolve the problem with the veterinarian or veterinary facility, as the case may be
      6. The contact information of all witnesses

      Requests for inquiry can also be mailed or faxed to:

      Office of the Syndic
      Ordre des médecins vétérinaires du Québec
      800 Avenue Sainte-Anne, Suite 300
      Saint-Hyacinthe, Québec  J2S 5G7

      You will receive a confirmation, which will include the Syndic assigned to your case. 


    2. Steps in a Inquiry


    3. Hearing Schedule

      The hearing schedule announces coming disciplinary hearings. It is posted at the Head Office of the Order at least ten days before the scheduled date of a hearing. It is also published online. The schedule includes the name of the veterinarian involved, the nature of the complaint and the date, time and location of the hearing.

    4. Disciplinary Decisions

     

  • As a consumer of veterinary services, you have at your disposal measures to dispute the professional fees charged by a veterinarian.

    Conciliation

    If you have a dispute with your veterinarian concerning the amount of an invoice for professional services rendered, you can file a conciliation of accounts application with the Syndic within 45 days of receiving the invoice, even if you have already paid it in full.

    The Syndic moves ahead with conciliation using the process it considers most appropriate. Its purpose is to find a middle ground in the dispute, namely, a partial or total reimbursement on the part of the veterinarian, something acceptable to both parties.

    How do I apply for conciliation?

    To apply for the conciliation of accounts, simply fill out and sign the Request for the Conciliation and Arbitration of an Account form and send it to the Office of the Syndic by email at bureau.syndic@omvq.qc.ca or by mail or fax.

    You can also send a letter explaining that you are disputing the professional fees charged by a veterinarian, in whole or in part, and provide your reasons for doing so.

    If the conciliation process leads to a settlement, the fees will be readjusted accordingly. If there is no settlement within 45 days, the Syndic will send a report regarding the dispute to both the client and the member.

     Arbitration

    If the conciliation process conducted by the Office of the Syndic does not lead to a settlement between the parties, you can apply for the arbitration of professional fees before the Arbitration Council within 30 days of receiving the conciliation report. This Council holds an audience to hear the parties and receive their evidence. It then renders its ruling, which cannot be appealed.

    To apply for arbitration, please email your request to Me Sarah Thibodeau, Secretary of the Ordre des médecins vétérinaires du Québec.

    Contact information

    Me Sarah Thibodeau
    Secretary of the Order
    Ordre des médecins vétérinaires du Québec
    800 Avenue Sainte-Anne, Suite 200
    Saint-Hyacinthe, Québec  J2S 5G7

  • * Please note that the Office of the Syndic does not issue medical opinions.