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

Tanya Finley named Liberal candidate for Nelson-Creston

Finley is president of the Nelson and District Chamber of Commerce

Youth climate march lines Nelson’s bridge

About 110 people of all ages turned out Friday for the international event (see more photos below)

New library to be built in downtown Kaslo

The building will cost $3 million

Nelson lacks enough supporting housing to meet homeless demand: report

The annual study shows permanent shelter is needed for people experiencing homelessness

Two new COVID-19 cases reported in Interior Health

The total number of Interior Health cases since the beginning of the pandemic is now at 522

QUIZ: Do you know what’s on TV?

Fall is normally the time when new television shows are released

B.C. marriage annulled because husband was unable to have sex with wife

Husband did not disclose any sexual health concerns to his wife prior to marriage

White Rock’s namesake spray-painted with Black Lives Matter slogan

Vandalism occurred sometime between Friday and Saturday

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

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

B.C. VOTES 2020: B.C. Liberals vow to eliminate sales tax for a year

From 7% to zero, then back in at 3% to stimulate economy

The holiday everyone needs this year: Vote for your favourite in Fat Bear Week 2020

Voters will get to decide who gets to take home this year’s most coveted prize

Canadian ski resorts wrestle with pandemic-vs.-profit dilemma as COVID-19 persists

Few are actually restricting the total number of skiers they allow on the hill

Most Read