03/26/2015 02:00 EDT | Updated 05/26/2015 05:59 EDT

Ontario to ask doctors' college to explore bans on conversion therapy

TORONTO - Ontario's health minister says he is going to ask the province's doctors' college to explore explicit bans on so-called conversion therapy.

NDP MPP Cheri DiNovo has introduced a private member's bill to make it illegal to attempt to change the sexual orientation or gender identity of someone aged 18 and under through therapy.

Health Minister Eric Hoskins says he welcomes DiNovo's bill, though the practice would already be considered professional misconduct and a violation of the Ontario human rights code.

Still, he says, he will be asking relevant medical colleges, such as the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario, to look at amending their regulations to specify that conversion therapy amounts to professional misconduct and is banned.

DiNovo says she wants the government to say that it will not be covered under OHIP even if it is billed under general counselling hours.

Hoskins says there is no OHIP code that allows any healthcare professional to bill for conversion therapy as it is "not in accordance with any standard of practice."

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