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Patient safety enhanced as more B.C. health colleges amalgamate

June 28, 2024 at 8:52 am  BC, News, Politics, Provincial

Patients can count on greater safety and care as 11 health-profession regulatory colleges have been amalgamated into two, setting the foundation for more robust regulation of health professionals.

“Our government committed to make sure people feel safe when visiting a health professional by creating larger and better-resourced colleges capable of providing stronger oversight,” said Adrian Dix, Minister of Health. “This new amalgamation of health-profession colleges is part of our plan to modernize the regulatory framework that started in 2018 to help ensure health professions are regulated more consistently and robustly, which is good news for patients as well as the people that provide the services.”

Effective June 28, 2024, the number of health-profession regulatory colleges in B.C. is reduced from 15 to six. The new College of Health and Care Professionals of BC will regulate dietitians, occupational therapists, physical therapists, opticians, optometrists, psychologists, and speech and hearing health professionals. The new College of Complementary Health Professionals of BC will regulate chiropractors, massage therapists, naturopathic physicians, traditional Chinese medicine practitioners and acupuncturists.

These were the final amalgamations planned as part of the ministry’s multi-year initiative to modernize the health-profession regulatory framework in B.C. These included the Health Professions and Occupations Act receiving royal assent on Nov. 24, 2022, and the June 7, 2024 announcement of the appointment of Sherri Young as the leader of the new Office of the Superintendent of Health Professions and Occupations Oversight.

The office will oversee the health-profession regulatory colleges in B.C. that govern more than 120,000 regulated health professionals, ensuring colleges continue to be transparent, accountable and operating in the public interest.

These amalgamations follow other health-profession regulatory college amalgamations over the past several years. In September 2018, B.C.’s three nursing colleges were amalgamated into one. In September 2020, the nursing college was amalgamated with the College of Midwives, and the College of Physicians and Surgeons was amalgamated with the College of Podiatrists in August 2020. In September 2022, B.C.’s four oral-health colleges, which include dentists, dental assistants, dental therapists, denturists, dental hygienists and dental technicians, were amalgamated into one regulatory college.

The Ministry of Health has provided $5.125 million in grant funding to support these two amalgamations, one in 2023 for $4 million, and one in 2024 for $1.125 million.

Learn More:

To learn about the Health Professions and Occupations Act, visit: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2022HLTH0202-001566

To learn about the Office of the Superintendent of Health Professions and Occupations Oversight, visit: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2024HLTH0079-000883

For additional information about the College of Health and Care Professionals of BC, visit: https://www.chcpbc.org

For additional information about the College of Health and Care Professionals of BC, visit, https://www.cchpbc.ca

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