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​Health Minister announces proposed changes to modernize provincial health regulatory framework

November 27, 2019

Today B.C.'s Health Minister Adrian Dix announced proposed changes to the regulation of health professions. These changes were recommended by an all-party Steering Committee that was formed to consider how to improve professional regulation as a result of an expert inquiry conducted by Mr. Harry Cayton. The Steering Committee's recommendations are contained in a consultation paper called “Modernizing the Provincial Health Profession Regulatory Framework" available here.

The recommendations proposed by the Steering Committee are significant, and are intended to increase public safety and public protection, increase public confidence in regulation, and make regulation more efficient.

You can read full details in the Ministry's press release here.

Of the proposed changes, the biggest structural change is a decrease in the number of health regulators from 20 to 5. As part of this, the four colleges that regulate dental professions would come together to form a new College of Oral Health Professionals.

The Steering committee is also recommending changes to:

  • Improved governance: The Steering Committee is recommending some significant governance changes. Its recommendations include smaller regulatory boards with equal numbers of registrants and public members (50/50), appointments based on competency, and the removal of elections. A separate body for board appointments would make this process more efficient.

  • Complaints and Adjudication: Changes are required to make the complaints process more efficient, effective, transparent and fair. The Steering Committee is recommending a new disciplinary process in which independent discipline panels would make decisions regarding regulated health professionals. The proposed changes would increase transparency by making consensual actions public, except where there are health concerns.

  • Create an oversight body for the health regulators: The Steering Committee is recommending an oversight body that would establish performance standards for all regulatory colleges, and would conduct reviews and investigations, similar to the Professional Standards Authority in the UK. The Health Professions Review Board is expected to continue as an arm of the oversight body. ​

What's next

The Steering Committee's recommendations are being published for consultation effective immediately. The government's consultation page on regulating health professions is here. Feedback is being accepted in writing or by way of an online survey. The consultation period will run until January 10, 2020.

We recognize that changes proposed by the Steering Committee would set out a new direction for regulation, and specifically how dentistry will be regulated in BC. Anyone is welcome to submit comments via the Ministry's consultation process, and if you have additional comments/questions for CDSBC to consider, you can email them to communications@cdsbc.org. We may not be able to respond individually but will collect all feedback and respond to the themes when we have more information. We will continue to share updates as we have them.

We do not know the government's timeline for these changes, but are prepared to move as quickly as required. Even better, CDSBC has anticipated many of the governance recommendations made by the Steering Committee, as part of our Action Plan in response to the Cayton Report. This is reflected in the recent bylaw changes, including a smaller board that has equal numbers of public and registrant members.

Finally, we welcome the opportunity to build a collaborative approach to health regulation that recognizes the professional expertise and contributions of all oral health professionals, and embraces the role of patients and the public in the delivery of safe and effective care. I look forward to collaborative and constructive discussions with our fellow oral health regulators to realize the goal of truly team-based patient care.​


Dr. Chris Hacker, Registrar and CEO