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  NEWS RELEASE 

For Immediate Release

2008HSERV0093-001541

Oct. 10, 2008

Ministry of Health Services

 

B.C. OPENS UP HEALTH PROFESSION DISCIPLINARY PROCESS

 


VICTORIAEffective Nov. 1, changes to health profession colleges will protect British Columbia patients and provide the public with information about health professionals who have been disciplined, Health Services Minister George Abbott said today.

 

“We are moving forward with requirements that all health profession colleges in British Columbia publicly post the outcome of disciplinary proceedings that result in actions against health professionals,” said Abbott. “British Columbians told us that increased transparency and accountability in our health professions were important to the improvement of our world class health system, and with these new requirements we have delivered on the calls for change.”

 

The requirements are part of the Health Professions Regulatory Reform Amendment Act, which was passed in May 2008 and made important changes to the Health Professions Act. In addition to ensuring that the outcomes of disciplinary proceedings are publicly posted, colleges will also be required to notify complainants of the outcome of investigations into allegations of professional misconduct. Colleges can comply with the public posting requirements by issuing a notice on their website.

 

“CRNBC is already implementing the changes introduced in Bill 25 and we fully support government's efforts to bring more transparency and accountability to regulatory processes," said Val Cartmel, president of the College of Registered Nurses of British Columbia. "Public notification of complaints resolution is one more way we meet our legislated mandate of public protection through the regulation of registered nurses and nurse practitioners."

 

Also taking effect Nov. 1, are requirements that will allow colleges to take disciplinary action against members who have been found guilty of unprofessional conduct in another jurisdiction or while practising as a registrant of another British Columbia college.

 

Additionally, effective Oct. 17, every new member of a board of a health profession college will be required to sign an oath to ensure that they are guided by the public interest in the performance of their duties. Failure to take or comply with this oath may result in a member’s suspension or removal from the board.

 

The requirements will apply to the 15 self-regulated health professions in British Columbia that are currently designated under the Health Professions Act. These professions covered include: nursing, midwifery, occupational therapy and psychology. Some health profession colleges that are not included under the November requirement like the College of Physicians and Surgeons already voluntarily report on disciplinary hearings.


 

 

All other health profession regulatory colleges will be expected to meet these requirements when they are designated under the Health Professions Designation Regulation that is expected to be fully in place by spring 2009.

 

Additionally, the Health Professions Review Board, which will have the power to review the timeliness and outcome of college disciplinary decisions, also is anticipated to be in place by spring 2009.

 

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Media

contact:

Michelle Stewart

Communications Director

Ministry of Health Services

250 812-5571 (cell)

250 952-1887 (media line)

 

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