Reporting Medically Unfit Drivers
In Manitoba, physicians are required by law to report drivers with a medical condition that may affect their ability to operate a motor vehicle safely. Section 157(1) of The Highway Traffic Act (HTA) states that:
“A duly qualified medical practitioner or optometrist shall report to the registrar the name, address and disease or disability, or any significant change in a previously observed disease or disability, of any person attending upon the duly qualified medical practitioner or optometrist for examination or treatment who is the holder of a valid and subsisting driver’s licence and who, in the opinion of the duly qualified medical practitioner or optometrist, has a disease or disability that may be expected to interfere with the safe operation of a motor vehicle that may be operated with the class of licence or permit held by the person.”
Physicians should be aware that section 157(2) of the HTA protects them from liability in these circumstances:
“No person has a right of action against a duly qualified medical practitioner or optometrist for furnishing to the registrar a report as mentioned in subsection 1.”
MPI has created a simple reporting form to help you with this process. In fulfilling your legal obligation, you are compelled to provide only the following information on the top part of the form:
- Patient’s name, address, date of birth; and
- Brief description of disease/disability OR any significant change in a previously observed disease/disability
The middle portion of the template form contains a section for the physician to note their recommendation regarding the patient’s driving privileges.
Physicians are under no legal obligation to provide such a recommendation, nor would it be appropriate for a physician to do so without the patient’s consent. MPI is responsible for taking driver licensing action once medical information is received.
Manitoba Public Insurance does not pay a fee for providing this information, and it would not be appropriate to bill the patient.