Protection for Persons in Care

An extra safeguard for Manitobans and their families.

""Manitobans benefit from a high-quality health care system that is among the world's best. Regional health authorities, professional associations and regulatory bodies, and health facility staff and management co-operatively monitor and maintain this high standard of care, ensuring a safe environment for patients and residents.

The Protection for Persons In Care Act helps protect adults from abuse and neglect while receiving care in personal care homes, hospitals or any other designated health facility. The Protection for Persons in Care Office (PPCO) is responsible for receiving and investigating reports of alleged abuse or neglect.

The Manitoba government is launching significant and transformative changes to the way it responds to allegations of abuse and neglect.

To date, this has included

  • improving and strengthening policies, standards and educational materials within the PPCO;
  • amending The Protection for Persons in Care Act to broaden and clarify the definitions of abuse and neglect that are used to direct investigations; and
  • reducing the backlog of investigations, with current matters expected to be largely complete by March 2024.

The province has announced plans to create an independent investigative office that reports to the Legislative Assembly and also conduct a retrospective review of some PPCO investigations. The new office will provide greater accountability and transparency to members of the public, with full powers of investigation and reporting. Following a period of transition, the PPCO will be disbanded in its current form.

To learn more about why these changes are needed, you can review this report from the Office of the Auditor General and Manitoba’s response.

On this page:

Reporting abuse and neglect

In Manitoba, it is mandatory to report suspected abuse and neglect promptly. This means that anyone who has a reasonable basis to believe abuse or neglect has occurred, or is likely to occur, must report these concerns as soon as possible.

If a person's life or well-being is in immediate danger, take steps to ensure the person's safety first, then call the PPCO's confidential, toll-free line at 1-866-440-6366 (outside Winnipeg) or 204-788-6366 in Winnipeg. If you're not sure whether a situation needs to be reported, contact the PPCO for assistance.

What is considered abuse or neglect?

The PPCO uses definitions of abuse and neglect that are set out in legislation.

Amendments to the definitions of abuse and neglect within The Protection for Persons in Care Act came into force on January 1, 2024.

Abuse means:

  • the use of physical force resulting in pain, discomfort or injury
  • the intentional causing of emotional or psychological harm
  • sexual contact, activity or behaviour between a patient and an individual in a position of trust
  • non-consensual sexual contact
  • theft or destruction of a patient’s property

Neglect means:

An act or omission that

  • is mistreatment that deprives a patient of adequate care, adequate medical attention or other necessaries of life or a combination of any of them, and
  • causes or is reasonably likely to cause:
    • death of a patient,
    • physical or psychological harm to a patient, or
    • a significant loss to the property of a patient

The reporting and investigation process

After receiving a report of suspected abuse or neglect, the PPCO looks into the matter. Where there is reason to believe that abuse or neglect has occurred, or is likely to occur, the matter moves forward as an investigation.

The assigned investigator contacts the patient or their proxy (if applicable) and the facility to inform them of the investigation process.

Under the law, a health facility operator, such as a personal care home, may be required to take action as a result of the findings of a PPCO investigation.

Where necessary, referrals may be made to a professional regulatory body (college) for further review of the actions of professionals identified as persons who have abused or neglected. The PPCO may refer an individual to the Adult Abuse Registry Committee if it concludes abuse or neglect occurred.

When suspected abuse or neglect is reported in good faith, the law prohibits:
- any interruption in the care and services provided to patients and residents; and
- any action or proceedings against any person, including health facility employees, for reporting suspected abuse.

Any failure to comply with the Act, including intentionally making a false report, may result in charges being laid and fines imposed.

Training sessions for sites

The PPCO can provide presentations and training sessions about its work, the relevant law, and how facilities can comply with its requirements. Please contact us for more information.

Contact us

The Protection for Persons in Care Office
300 Carlton Street
Winnipeg MB R3B 3M9

Winnipeg: 204-788-6366
Toll-free: 1-866-440-6366
Fax: 204-775-8055
TTY Winnipeg: 204-774-8618
TTY Toll-free: 1-800-855-0511