Saskatchewan Court of Appeal dismisses five appeals on the basis of mootness

September 17, 2021

2021 SKCA 115

In an August 31, 2021 decision, the Saskatchewan Court of Appeal dismissed five appeals brought by Dr. Satyam Patel, a physician, against the Saskatchewan Health Authority (the “SHA”) that had arisen in the context of his regulatory proceeding.

The dispute began in June 2016, when Dr. Patel’s surgical privileges were suspended due to quality of care and patient safety concerns, by what was formerly the Regina Qu’Appelle Regional Health Authority (“RQRHA”), which was eventually subsumed by the SHA. The suspension was ultimately brought forth before the Practitioners Staff Appeals Tribunal (the “PSAT”).

All of the decisions under appeal had their genesis in the regulatory appeal before the PSAT. In December 2020, the PSAT recused itself on a motion brought by the SHA. In four of the five appeals, the SHA argued that as a result of the recusal, the appeals were moot and should be quashed or dismissed. The Court agreed and dismissed all four appeals on the basis of mootness. The Court also exercised its discretion to decide one of the appeals in spite of the fact that it was moot, and found in favour of the SHA on this appeal. The fifth appeal was from a costs award issued against Dr. Patel by the Saskatchewan Court of Queen’s Bench, which the Court of Appeal upheld. The Saskatchewan Health Authority was awarded $22,500 in costs for the five appeals, payable forthwith.

Reginald Watson, Q.C., Ryan Kitzul and Annie Alport (Health Law) of Miller Thomson LLP represented the SHA in the proceedings.