BC Government introduces new legislation to replace the Health Professions Act

Oct. 31, 2022

BC Government introduces new legislation to replace the Health Professions Act

On October 19, 2022, the BC Government introduced Bill 36, titled the Health Professions and Occupations Act. The government intends this new legislation to replace the Health Professions Act, the legislation that currently governs health regulatory colleges in the province, including CMTBC.

CMTBC is closely studying the tabled Health Professions and Occupations Act, and consulting with the Ministry of Health and other BC health regulatory colleges about the legislation. The College will communicate with registrants, applicants, and other stakeholders as more information is confirmed about the legislation.

According to the BC Government news release (https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2022HLTH0202-001566) on the new legislation, which must pass through several stages – and which may possibly be amended – before receiving Royal Assent and becoming law, it enables:

A streamlined path to reduce the number of health regulatory colleges through amalgamation

Creation of an oversight body for health regulatory colleges (funded by the colleges)

A reformed complaints process that increases accountability and transparency

A commitment to cultural safety and humility

Improved information sharing between colleges and with other agencies to enhance public safety and protection

Creation of an improved governance system where all board members are appointed via a competency-based process

The news release notes that the BC Government “will continue finalizing the amalgamation of colleges from 15 to six.”

Amalgamation has been anticipated since the release of two key reports:

Recommendations to modernize the provincial health profession regulatory framework (https://www2.gov.bc.ca/assets/gov/health/practitioner-pro/professional-regulation/recommendations-to-modernize-regulatory-framework.pdf), released by the Steering Committee on Modernization of Health Professional Regulation in 2020.

An Inquiry into the performance of the College of Dental Surgeons of British Columbia and the Health Professions Act (https://www2.gov.bc.ca/assets/gov/health/practitioner-pro/professional-regulation/cayton-report-college-of-dental-surgeons-2018.pdf), authored by Harry Cayton, CBE, and released by the BC Ministry of Health in 2019.

The legislation is partly in response to recommendations in the two reports.

The College will communicate with registrants, applicants, and other stakeholders as more information is confirmed about amalgamation of health regulatory colleges, including CMTBC. As yet, there is no definite plan, process, or timeline. The College expects these details to be confirmed in the coming months..