Self-Regulation In Health Care Professions Comes Under Scrutiny

An inquiry into the regulation of British Columbia’s dentists may lead to an overhaul of health care regulation across the province — and could be a sign of what’s to come across the country. The resulting report suggested that self-regulating professions too often neglect their central purpose — public safety — and that a new regulatory structure should be put in place. Public feedback on the recommendations closed in June, and a government committee is expected to propose regulatory reforms later this year.

In 2018, BC’s health minister, Adrian Dix, asked Harry Cayton, a regulatory expert in the United Kingdom, to look into problems with the administration and operation of the College of Dental Surgeons of British Columbia, which regulates dentists, certified dental assistants and dental therapists. He also invited Cayton to reflect on whether the Health Professions Act, the law that sets out how health professionals in the province can self-govern, needed changes.

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