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

MP Morrison faults federal Throne Speech as new Parliament session begins

Kootenay-Columbia representative criticizes a lack of focus on jobs, support for resource sector

Boil water advisory issued for Lower Kootenay Band

Bacteria was discovered in the Band’s water system yesterday

Creston residents invited to participate in scarecrow and pumpkin carving contest

In previous years, the contest was limited to local businesses and select artists who would display their scarecrows along Canyon Street for the event

Membership drive launched to attract input for new Creston Discovery Centre

For more than 40 years, environmental awareness and educational programs were offered at the Creston Valley Wildlife Area’s original Interpretive Centre

Rossland resident Aerin Bowers completes 19-km swim along Christina Lake

Bowers said her dad inspired her to complete the epic adventure

BC Liberal Leader talks drug addiction in the Lower Mainland

Drug addiction and public safety a top priority says Andrew Wilkinson

Pandemic derails CP Holiday Train

Canadian Pacific will work to get donations to food banks while also producing an online music concert

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

Interior Health reports five new COVID-19 cases

Across the region, 34 cases are active

Vanderhoof’s Brian Frenkel takes on top job in tough times

We can get through this, new local government leader says

Local councils important, Horgan says as municipal conference ends

B.C. NDP leader says ‘speed dating’ vital, online or in person

Penticton woman sentenced to one year in prison for manslaughter of teen boyfriend

Kiera Bourque, 24, was sentenced for manslaughter in the 2017 death of Penticton’s Devon Blackmore

Most Read