Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry has issued an important update for health professionals in BC.
The update, issued March 23, 2020, provides expectations for health professionals regulated under the Health Professions Act when providing patient and client care in community settings.
The update does not apply to regulated health professionals when providing patient and client care in designated facilities or institutions regulated by the Hospital Act, the Health Authorities Act, the Community Care and Assisted Living Act, the Mental Health Act, or other relevant Acts.
The first expectation listed in the update reads as follows: “All non-essential and elective services involving direct physical contact with patients and clients should be reduced to minimal levels, subject to allowable exceptions, until further notice.”
This is consistent with the recommendation issued by CSHBC on March 18, 2020 that all Registered Audiologists (RAUDs), Registered Hearing Instrument Practitioners (RHIPs), and Registered Speech-Language Pathologists (RSLPs) who work in private practice conduct a risk assessment, suspend in-person elective and non-essential services, and only provide urgent and emergent services.
The update outlines allowable exceptions, the option of providing care by telephone and video, and other expectations for regulated health professionals.
CSHBC is reviewing the update from Dr. Henry and will issue further communications to registrants providing more guidance and information. Check the College website daily for updates, as the situation with COVID-19 is fluid. CSHBC will provide registrants with the most relevant and factual information available.