On April 11, 2019, BC’s Ministry of Health released a much-anticipated report authored by Harry Cayton, CBE, the former head of the UK’s Professional Standards Authority and an internationally recognized expert on professional regulation. An Inquiry into the performance of the College of Dental Surgeons of British Columbia and the Health Professions Act (PDF) (the “Report”) is the result of an inquiry initiated last spring by the Minister of Health. Part 1 of the Report addresses the performance of the College of Dental Surgeons of BC in relation to certain standards of good regulation; Part 2 provides recommendations about how the Health Professions Act, the statute that governs BC’s health regulatory colleges, could be modernized and improved to better promote and enhance effective regulatory oversight.
The Minister of Health struck a Steering Committee that is consulting broadly on the changes that British Columbians want to see to regulation of health professions. CSHBC is studying the Report and reflecting on its recommendations and conclusions, both at the Board and senior staff level, and submitted comments to the Steering Committee in respect of Part 2 prior to the June 14, 2019 deadline for feedback.
Although a number of the Report’s recommendations have been the College’s practice for the past several years, we are aware that the Report is a call to all colleges and government (which sets the legislative framework in which we operate), to maintain and strengthen the focus on patient safety, openness and transparency, and public trust. That trust is placed at risk whenever a regulator is seen to act primarily for the benefit of the profession that it regulates, rather than for the public it is mandated to protect.
CSHBC will continue to engage with the Ministry of Health, and its fellow health regulators through the BC Health Regulators group, and to dedicate itself to advancing the public interest by ensuring that our registrants provide safe, effective, and ethical health care. The College looks forward to incorporating additional recommendations from the Report into our practices and will report out on any changes to health regulation that are likely to have a significant impact on our registrants. Members of the public and registrants with questions are welcome to contact the College.