The all-party steering committee formed after the publication of Harry Cayton’s report last April (see: https://sml-law.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/cayton-report-college-of-dental-surgeons-2018.pdf) has released a consultation paper with specific recommendations. The consultation paper includes the following recommendations for the modernization of the regulation of health professions in British Columbia:
- Governance. Regulatory Colleges should be governed by a Board consisting of 8-12 people, half of whom should be members of the public. Board members would be fairly compensated so that they are no longer viewed as volunteers. The Board would be selected through a competency-based process overseen by an independent oversight body.
- Reduction in the Number of Colleges. The twenty current Colleges would be combined into five Colleges: Nursing, Medicine, Pharmacy, Oral Health Professions, and all of the other currently regulated professions would be governed by the Health and Care Professions College.
- Oversight Body. An independent oversight body would be established. It will have a broader mandate than even the Professional Standards Authority of the UK. Its functions will include auditing, reviewing and investigating the performance of regulatory Colleges, creating template standards, approving regulatory College bylaws, recommending changes to the regulation of health professions, and operating a single public register of all practitioners.
- Complaints. Complaints would still be conducted by the Colleges through a more streamlined process with timelines for individual stages in the process. Agreements disposing of complaints will be public and placed on the public register. Colleges will also be able to make limited public comments about the nature and status of pending investigations. The complete prior complaints history of the practitioner must be considered by the Inquiries Committee. Colleges can share information and coordinate actions with other “health system stakeholders”. For example a complaint about a health care team could be coordinated by the affected Colleges so complainants only have to deal with one College and a consistent outcome results.
- Discipline. Discipline hearings will be removed from the Colleges and be conducted by independent, unified, discipline panels managed by the oversight body.
The consultation paper can be found at: https://engage.gov.bc.ca/app/uploads/sites/578/2019/11/Modernizing-health-profession-regulatory-framework-Consultation-Paper.pdf.
Submissions will be received up to January 10, 2020.