Patrick Craine


Ottawa abortionist failed to uphold ‘minimum expected standard’: College of Physicians

Patrick Craine

OTTAWA, Feb. 4, 2013 ( – An Ottawa abortionist was ordered to cease performing abortions in 2011 after an inspection found he failed to meet the “minimum expected standard” for anesthesia and lacked the necessary safety standards and resuscitation equipment.

The report on Dr. Wee-Lim Sim was made public Friday by the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario as part of a new initiative to publicize the results of inspections on “out-of-hospital” premises.

Sim, a registered obstetrician and gynecologist operating at 371 Friel St., says he stopped performing abortions in the wake of the report but maintains other areas of his practice, as allowed by the College.

Dated July 18, 2011, the report criticized Sim for not using a paracervical block for local anesthesia during abortions, which they called the “minimum expected standard.”

Inspectors also found Sim’s staff lacked the necessary qualifications, his office floors and walls were cluttered, and he could not provide a procedure manual detailing the facility’s policies in areas such as infection control, garbage disposal, and safety precautions.

The report also states that he did not comply with fire code regulations, lacked an emergency power supply in case power went out in the midst of a procedure, and did not have appropriate means of emergency transport such as a stretcher or wheelchair.

In an interview with the Ottawa Citizen, he maintained that the College’s concerns related to his facilities rather than his abilities as a physician.

“It’s only my place that the college failed because it’s not a surgical suite, but in my opinion, it’s a skill and experience and not how many tools you have, because I have been doing surgical abortions for 47 years in my office safely,” he said.

“When they came they found that I didn’t have all of these registered nurses, I didn’t have an operating table, I didn’t have all of the things that they wanted, so they decided that I couldn’t do these things, which is fine,” he added.

The report was made public on Friday after the College passed a by-law allowing them to publicize the results of inspections on out-of-hospital premises. The College began inspecting these out-of-hospital facilities in 2010 with the permission of the Ontario government.

They say the inspection program is meant “to address a gap in the oversight of premises that perform cosmetic surgery, colonoscopies, interventional pain procedures and cataract surgeries in clinical settings that are outside of hospitals.”

“The College strongly advocated for this inspection program to enhance patient safety through improved quality standards,” they explain.

The College says the by-law gives the public access to the most current status of their inspections, available on their website at www.cpso.on.caThe website indicates that the College failed nine of the 251 facilities that they had inspected by the beginning of December. 

The inspection report on Dr. Wee-Lim Sim is available on the website of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario.

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