Ontario’s Health Professions Appeal and Review Board (HPARB) cannot review a decision with respect to multiple registrants if a complainant limits her application for review to one registrant only. That conclusion led an Ontario court to find a decision of HPARB concerning its duty to review to be unreasonable in Wilcock v. Ontario (HPARB), 2012 ONSC 1249.
Based on two complaints against three physicians, Drs. A, J and W, the Complaints Committee decided to take no action against any of them. In particular, it decided to take no action against Dr. A due to his retiring, and due to his giving undertakings. The two complainants requested review, but later withdrew their requests concerning Drs. J and W. Their request for review continued in relation to Dr. A.
The HPARB advised it planned to proceed with a review respecting all of the physicians. Dr. J and Dr. W objected, but the HPARB asserted jurisdiction over all parties in the decision,  although acknowledging its past practice of generally limiting its review to the submissions of the requesting party. 
The court accepted that since the HPARB was interpreting provisions of the Health Professions Procedural Code, the standard of review was reasonableness.  But while the Complainants had only partially withdrawn their request for review, HPRB’s view that a request for review of one registrant required a review of all registrants was an unreasonable interpretation.  As only Dr. A was a treating physician, the committee drew separate conclusions respecting Dr. A and Drs. J and W.  The public interest was not engaged without a request for review concerning Drs. J and W. Further, if the HPARB’s interpretation were correct, a decision to refer Dr. A to the Discipline Committee would close the door on any review concerning any physician, which would be unreasonable.  The court accordingly quashed the decision to proceed with a review relating to Dr. J and Dr. W. 
Wilcock v. Ontario (HPARB), 2012 ONSC 1249 (February 21, 2012)