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Medical Staff Resources & Services

Leave of Absence from Clinical Activity

As per section 4.16 of the Covenant Health Medical Staff Rules, Absence from a Covenant Health Site(s) of Clinical Activity, a Practitioner shall ensure requirements are met for coverage of all his/her responsibilities, and shall identify an alternative Practitioner to assume those responsibilities and to serve as Most Responsible Practitioner for his/her admitted Patients. The Practitioner providing coverage must have the appropriate Clinical Privileges. The Practitioner will document the identity of the covering Practitioner in the Patient’s health record and shall inform the Patient, and/or his/her family and/or the Patient’s Legal Representative.

Process Flow Map:  Leave of Absence Process Flowmap 

Key Messages

  • The MS Rules are intended for medical staff to notify stakeholders if they are away from Clinical practice between 96 hrs and ≤45 days. 
  • Ifr you are working at multiple sites the 96 hr -  ≤45 day rule does NOT apply when doing clinical work at another site. 
  • As per the MSR if you are taking vacation or on medical leave for greater than 96 hrs -  ≤45 days you would complete the LOA form. 

≤ 96 hours

Coverage for patients during an absence of less than or up to 96 hours is provided through the on-call schedule of the service or group in which the practitioner participates, or by alternative prior arrangements.   It is the physician’s responsibility to make these arrangements and to ensure colleagues and healthcare team members are aware of the absence and coverage arrangements.

> 96 hrs ≤ 45 days

During an absence of greater than 96 hours, the provisions of section 4.15.2 of Medical Staff Rules for the formal transfer of responsibility must be fulfiled. In addition, notification of the absence and the identity of the covering practitioner will be provided.  Physicians are required to formally advise in writing:

    • Facility Chief,
    • Switchboard,
    • Health Records,  
    • the relevant Covenant Health Facility Medical Director(s) via Medical Affairs Office and
    • clinical area of practice

Forms have been created and are available as a tool for you to use

For Physicians:             Physician Away Notification  
For Medical Leaders:  Medical Leadership Absence Form 

> 45 days  

For an absence of greater than forty-five consecutive days, a formal leave of absence is required and must be approved in advance by the Vice-President, Medicine, or designate, upon the recommendation of the Covenant Health clinical department facility chief and/or the Covenant Health Facility medical director(s). For absences greater than 45 days please forward email request for approval to the Medical Affairs office at medicalaffairs@covenanthealth.ca

For absences greater than 45 days forward email request for approval to the Medical Affairs office at medicalaffairs@covenanthealth.ca 

The recommendation and approval to grant a leave of absence will be based on consideration of the reason(s) for the request, the responsibilities of the practitioner, workforce needs and the Practitioner Workforce Plan, and any other relevant matters. Only in exceptional circumstances will the length of a leave of absence exceed one year. If approved, you will receive a formal letter signed by the Vice-President, Medicine, & Chief Medical Officer, Covenant Health, granting your leave of absence.