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)

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

An aerial shot of Cedar Valley Lodge this past August, LNG Canada’s newest accommodation for workers. This is where several employees are isolating after a COVID-19 outbreak was declared last Thursday (Nov. 19). (Photo courtesy of LNG Canada)
41 positive COVID-19 cases associated with the LNG Canada site outbreak

Thirty-four of the 41 cases remain active, according to Northern Health

Cases have gone up in Northern Health in the past week, as they have all over B.C. (K-J Millar/Black Press Media)
Northern Health reports new highest number of COVID-19 cases in one day

Nineteen cases were reported to Public Health last Tuesday (Nov. 17)

FILE – British Columbia provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry wears a face mask as she views the Murals of Gratitude exhibition in Vancouver, on Friday, July 3, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Masks now mandatory in all public indoor and retail spaces in B.C.

Many retailers and businesses had voiced their frustration with a lack of mask mandate before

(Photo courtesy of LNG Canada)
An aerial shot of Cedar Valley Lodge this past August, LNG Canada’s newest accommodation for workers. This is where several employees are isolating after a COVID-19 outbreak was declared Thursday.
COVID-19 outbreak at LNG Canada Project site

14 employees have tested positive for COVID-19 at this time

topley 4H
Year end from Topley 4H

Topley 4-H club is at it again with another amazing year. The… Continue reading

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, Nov. 23, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C. daily COVID-19 cases hits record 941 on Tuesday

Further restrictions on indoor exercise take effect

(Pixabay.com)
Man, 28, warned by Kootenay police to stop asking people to marry him

A woman initially reported the incident to police before they discovered others had been popped the question

Winston Blackmore (left) and James Oler (right) were sentenced on separate charges of polygamy this week in Cranbrook Supreme Court.
No more charges expected in Bountiful investigation, special prosecutor says

Special prosecutor says mandate has ended following review of evidence from Bountiful investigations

(Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Refuse to follow B.C.’s mask mandate? Face a $230 fine

Masks are now required to be worn by all British Columbians, 12 years and older

BC Teachers' Federation President Teri Mooring is asking parents of school-aged children to encourage the wearing of masks when possible in schools. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito)
LETTER: Teachers union encourages culture of mask wearing in B.C. schools

BCTF President Teri Mooring asks parents to talk with children about wearing masks in school

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speak to the media about the COVID-19 virus outside Rideau Cottage in Ottawa, Friday, Nov. 20, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s inability to manufacture vaccines in-house will delay distribution: Trudeau

First doses of COVID-19 vaccine expected in first few months of 2021, prime minister says

Pamela Wright, a UNBC professor in the department of ecosystem science and management, is presented with the Mitacs Award for Exceptional Leadership - Professor, at a virtual ceremony today (Nov. 24) in recognition of her collaborative work with community partners and students to conserve Canada’s northern lands. (Photo submitted by Mitacs)
UNBC professor recieves prestigeous conservation award

Pamela Wright recognized for leadership in ‘breakthrough’ work on northern issues

Pamela Wright, a UNBC professor in the department of ecosystem science and management, is presented with the Mitacs Award for Exceptional Leadership - Professor, at a virtual ceremony today (Nov. 24) in recognition of her collaborative work with community partners and students to conserve Canada’s northern lands. (Photo submitted by Mitacs)
UNBC professor receives prestigious conservation award

Pamela Wright recognized for leadership in ‘breakthrough’ work on northern issues

Most Read