B.C.'s Minister of Health on Oct. 19, 2022,
introduced new legislation to replace the
Health Professions Act (HPA), the umbrella statute by which the government has established a common regulatory system for the province's health professions.
Health Professions and Occupations Act (HPOA), which received Royal Assent on Nov. 24, 2022, lays the groundwork for transforming how regulators fulfill our mandate to protect the public. This new legislation reflects Harry Cayton's
2018 review of both the HPA and the former
College of Dental Surgeons of BC, and the
subsequent recommendations from the all-party Steering Committee on the Modernization of Health Profession Regulation in 2020.
It is now up to Cabinet to determine when this new Act will take effect. For now, BCCNM continues to operate under the current HPA.
BCCNM is reviewing the new HPOA and assessing how it will impact our work. Some notable provisions include:
A significant focus on discrimination and anti-racism
Enabling colleges to create and update bylaws without requiring ministerial approval
Eliminating the election of registrant board members in favour of fully appointed boards
Setting out requirements for the creation of a new oversight body with responsibility for functions such as managing the board appointment process and running disciplinary hearings
Requiring colleges to publish the outcome of all disciplinary actions
Changing the terms "registration" to "license" and "registrants" to "licensees"
Legislative options and a path for amalgamations, to reduce the number of health profession regulators from fourteen to six
The new Act's focus on discrimination aligns with BCCNM's own cultural safety and humility
our work to tackle anti-Indigenous racism and other forms of discrimination. And with the amalgamation of B.C.'s three nursing regulators in 2018 to form the BC College of Nursing Professionals (BCCNP), and BCCNP's subsequent amalgamation with the College of Midwives of BC (CMBC) in 2020 to form BCCNM, our college is ahead of the curve in many respects. We do not anticipate further amalgamations at this time.
We look forward to continuing our collaboration with the Ministry, registrants, fellow regulators, and the public to advance a vision for health profession regulation that is efficient, consistent, effective, and firmly focused on the public interest. We will provide nurses and midwives with regular updates over the coming months.