Public health officials have indicated that COVID-19 is expected to continue to circulate in the general population for an extended period. As such, ongoing measures to control the spread of the disease are anticipated, including requirements to practise physical distancing of at least two metres (six feet) and increased screening for signs, symptoms and risk factors for COVID-19. Recommendations regarding use of personal protective equipment (PPE) in the practice environment should follow the directives and recommendations provided by BCCDC and WorkSafeBC.
BCCNM recognizes your efforts and challenges in working in a pandemic. If you need more information or wish to speak with someone about a practice concern, please contact one of our Regulatory Practice Consultants.
The following guiding principles and assumptions have been identified as foundational for reintroducing health-care services in the context of COVID-19:
As services gradually resume, registrants may face difficult decisions regarding which patients to see and the prioritization of service provision. The registrant is accountable for prioritizing access to in-person services based on clinical judgment and with consideration given to the patient perspective and the referral source (if applicable).
The following guidance has been developed collaboratively by the
BC Health Regulators with expertise and direction provided by the
Provincial Health Officer (PHO), the
BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) and
WorkSafeBC. It is intended for all registrants in community practice, which includes self employment, and is applicable for the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic.
this guidance reflects the best evidence available at this time and it will change as required to reflect updates in our understanding of the virus and its transmission. Resources that are linked to in the guidance are also subject to change, and registrants need to watch for updates from BCCNM as well as updated guidance from the PHO, BCCDC and WorkSafeBC.
In the first few months of COVID-19, BCCNM registrants were initially directed by the Provincial Health Officer to reduce all non-essential and elective services involving direct physical contact with patients and clients to minimal levels, and to provide virtual care whenever possible except for rare circumstances that might lead to imminent patient harm.
This guidance to registrants assisted in determining which services were reasonable to resume in Phase 2, beginning May 19, 2020. BCCNM recognizes that registrants would like very clear and specific direction on what is considered reasonable; however, it is not possible to address all scenarios.
As professionals, BCCNM expects registrants to collaborate with colleagues in similar practices when making these decisions and to use professional judgement to determine what is in the client's interest. BCCNM expects registrants to read this guidance and follow the expectations for infection prevention and control as they resume work in community settings. Please
check the BCCDC website regularly for updates.
BCCNM encourages all registrants to take the time required to review all guidance documents and make the necessary adjustments to community practice to ensure safe practice.