Regulating Health Professions – Phase 1
On March 8, 2018, the Honourable Adrian Dix, Minister of Health launched an inquiry into the College of Dental Surgeons of British Columbia (CDSBC). The inquiry was conducted by Mr. Harry Cayton of the Professional Standards Authority in the United Kingdom.
An Inquiry into the Performance of the College of Dental Surgeons of British Columbia and the Health Professions Act (the Cayton Report) was released on April 11, 2019. Part One of the Cayton Report includes recommendations to improve the operations and functioning of CDSBC. Part Two of the Cayton Report outlines possible approaches to modernizing British Columbia’s health profession regulatory framework.
A Steering Committee was established to respond to Part Two of the Cayton Report. The Steering Committee is chaired by Minister Dix. Mr. Norm Letnick, health critic for the official opposition, and Ms. Sonia Furstenau, health critic and house leader for the BC Green Party caucus are committee members. The Steering Committee will develop a proposal to modernize the health regulatory system in B.C. They will consider ways to protect the public interest, enable high quality care, and will consider reducing the number of regulatory colleges.
Through this initial engagement, government heard from British Columbians and health sector stakeholders regarding health profession regulatory modernization. Submissions received were broadly supportive of modernizing health profession regulation in B.C.
May 9, 2019, to June 14, 2019
- Over 300 written submissions were received from a broad cross section of respondents including approximately: 190 members of the public; 50 health practitioners; 25 professional associations; 18 regulators; and 30 other health sector stakeholders.
The following submission themes received the greatest amount of feedback:
- Amalgamation of health profession regulatory colleges.
- Transparency and accountability throughout the system of health profession regulation, particularly in complaints and discipline processes. Perspectives were shared regarding public disclosure in discipline matters, and the development of a new oversight body for health regulators (or for the system of health profession regulation broadly).
- Consistent approaches to regulation across professions, for example the development of a single register of health professionals; a single code of ethics and conduct; and a new complaints adjudication body.
- Greater role clarity in regards to: regulatory college mandate, roles and responsibilities; regulatory college board roles and responsibilities; and independence of regulatory colleges from professional associations.
- Members of the public who had made complaints to health profession regulators shared their concerns about the current processes for complaints and discipline.
- Members of the public and health sector stakeholders expressed support for continued engagement and consultation as potential reforms progress.
Feedback was also received in relation to the following themes:
- The importance of ensuring culturally safe health care, performance monitoring of cultural safety in health care, and cultural safety in complaints processes.
- Increasing Indigenous representation in the health professions and in regulatory college leadership.
- Assessing and considering additional occupations for regulation.
- Clarifying terms used in the Health Professions Act.
- Data reporting and performance monitoring of health profession regulators’ performance.
Input leads to action:
Feedback from British Columbians and health sector stakeholders is vital to identifying opportunities to improve the system of health profession regulation in B.C. Input received in this initial phase of public consultation is being used to assist the Steering Committee to identify and prioritize elements of regulatory modernization that are important to British Columbians and health sector stakeholders. The submissions will be a key resource moving forward, as the Steering Committee will draw on the submissions to support and inform its work.
The Steering Committee may wish to take a phased approach to consultation which may include future consultation on specific decisions or options. Any future invitations for stakeholder input and information regarding the progression of this modernization work will be available on the Ministry of Health’s Professional Regulation website.