Dentists are among self-regulating medical professions in B.C., governed by 20 different colleges that are being reduced to six with increased oversight. (Angie Mindus/Williams Lake Tribune)

B.C. combining medical colleges, increasing public oversight

20 colleges going to six, independent discipline for members

The B.C. government is moving ahead with plans to modernize its patchwork of medical regulation bodies, combining 20 into six with promises to improve handling of public complaints of misconduct.

Health Minister Adrian Dix released recommendations Aug. 27 to modernize the system, following a 2018 review of the College of Dental Surgeons that found a board of elected dentists at odds with staff and protecting members rather than the public.

Dix formed a committee with B.C. Liberal health critic Norm Letnick and B.C. Greens health critic Sonia Furstenau that has made recommendations to cabinet for final approval, but some of the reforms have already started.

The reforms will make sure that when conduct complaints against medical professionals are upheld, either by investigation or by agreement with the complainant, the results will be reported publicly, Dix said. Letnick pointed to the need for public information when complaints are upheld.

“The media have a key role to play in making sure that the public is safe,” Letnick said.

Another key change is to eliminate elections for board positions, to remove the perception that elected directors are accountable to their members rather than the public. Separate investigation and discipline procedures are being established, with clear rules for making public the findings and disciplinary action taken against health professionals.

B.C.’s 20 colleges are about to be reduced to 19, with the College of Podiatric Surgeons joining the College of Physicians and Surgeons as of Aug. 31. With only 85 members, the podiatric group is an example of organizations too small to effectively govern themselves by collecting membership dues, electing a board and administering a patient complaint system.

Three nursing groups have also been amalgamated into one College of Nursing Professionals, with B.C. certified midwives set to join as well. A single College of Oral Health Professionals is being established, to replace separate groups for dental assistants, hygienists, technicians, therapists, denturists and dentists.

RELATED: B.C. dentists’ secretive board at odds with staff

RELATED: B.C. dentist who lost licence has disappeared

The largest amalgamation is for a Regulatory College of Allied Health and Care Professionals, combining dietitians, occupational therapists, opticians, optometrists, physical therapists, psychologists, speech and hearing professionals, respiratory therapists, radiation therapists and medical laboratory technologists.

A new Regulatory College of Complementary and Alternative Health and Care Professionals will oversee chiropractors, massage therapists, naturopathic physicians, traditional Chinese medicine practitioners and acupuncturists.


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BC legislature

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

‘Each step is a prayer’: Ojibwe man will walk from Hope to Vancouver Island for Indigenous healing, reconciliation

James Taylor departs Sept. 20, returns to Saanich in five days for sacred fire

Surrey school district proposing 13 new schools in the next decade

Staff suggest new designs for future builds to maximize school space

Two Surrey schools report COVID-19 exposures, including second contact for Panorama Ridge

Fraser Health has created a new webpage listing COVID-19 cases in schools

Delta McDonald’s temporarily closed after employees test positive for COVID-19

Two employees at the Annacis Island location (1285 Cliveden Ave.) reported testing positive on Sept. 18

Scarecrow Festival given COVID twist

Art’s Nursery’s annual fall fundraiser, on the Langley-Surrey border, continues with some tweaks

QUIZ: A celebration of apples

September is the start of the apple harvest

Ferry riders say lower fares are what’s most needed to improve service

Provincial government announces findings of public engagement process

Air quality advisory ends for the Lower Mainland

It had been in effect since Sept. 8

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dies at 87

The court’s second female justice, died Friday at her home in Washington

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Emaciated grizzly found dead on central B.C. coast as low salmon count sparks concern

Grizzly was found on Gwa’sala-‘Nakwaxda’xw territory in Smith Inlet, 60K north of Port Hardy

VIDEO: B.C. to launch mouth-rinse COVID-19 test for kids

Test involves swishing and gargling saline in mouth and no deep-nasal swab

B.C. teachers file Labour Relations Board application over COVID-19 classroom concerns

The application comes as B.C.’s second week of the new school year comes to a close

Young Canadians have curtailed vaping during pandemic, survey finds

The survey funded by Heart & Stroke also found the decrease in vaping frequency is most notable in British Columbia and Ontario

Most Read