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For Immediate Release


March 24, 2009

Ministry of Health Services




VICTORIA – British Columbians now have a new greater degree of accountability in dealing with health professions colleges, with the newly created Health Professions Review Board now accepting applications for review, Health Services Minister George Abbott announced today.


“The Health Professions Review Board is now open for business as part of our throne speech commitment,” said Abbott. “The new board will ensure that health professionals can use their training and skills and not be denied a role in our health system by unnecessary obstacles. It also gives the public an independent channel to review complaints against health professionals.”


The Health Professions Review Board came into effect March 16, 2009, and has the power to review the timeliness and outcome of health regulatory college decisions in British Columbia. The 18 board members can review decisions of health profession colleges in individual cases of registration refusal and dissatisfaction with how the colleges handle complaints from the public about college registrants.


“The board will work to ensure the highest level of accountability for the province’s health profession colleges,” said J. Thomas English, board chair. “The board is a neutral forum for the public and health professionals to seek resolution or review of the colleges’ decisions.”


Eighteen professions, regulated by 17 professional colleges, are now covered under B.C.’s Health Professions Act. These include: chiropractors, dental hygienists, dental technicians, denturists, dietitians, licensed practical nurses, massage therapists, midwives, naturopathic physicians, occupational therapists, opticians, optometrists, physical therapists, psychologists, registered nurses (including nurse practitioners), registered psychiatric nurses, traditional Chinese medicine practitioners and acupuncturists.


The creation of the Health Professions Review Board stems from the Health Professions (Regulatory Reform) Amendment Act, 2008, which made significant changes to the Health Professions Act. The Province is currently working to bring additional professions under the Health Professions Act. Pharmacists, dentists and medical doctors will have transitioned under the Health Professions Act by June 2009, and decisions of their professional colleges will also come under the jurisdiction of the Health Professions Review Board.



The Health Professions Review Board can be contacted at or telephone toll-free 1-888-953-4986. British Columbia is the second province, after Ontario, to establish an independent health professions review body.








Bernadette Murphy

Media Relations Manager

Ministry of Health Services

250 952-1887 (media line)

250 213-9590 (cell)


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