Adrian Dix, Minister of Health, has released a report, An Inquiry into the Performance of the College of Dental Surgeons of British Columbia and the Health Professions Act.
In March 2018, in response to concerns regarding the College of Dental Surgeons of British Columbia (CDSBC), Dix took the rare and significant step of launching a review into the administrative and operational practices of the college. He asked Harry Cayton, former chief executive of the United Kingdom’s Professional Standards Authority, to conduct the review.
“I want to thank Harry Cayton for leading this review and for the comprehensive report,” said Dix. “The findings of this review will assist the college in restoring public trust in the college. Putting people first is a primary concern for the ministry and the full implementation of these recommendations will help strengthen the college's ability to deliver on its mandate to protect the public.”
Cayton was tasked with inquiring and advising whether the college follows best practices for governance of regulated professionals and whether it is fulfilling its mandate to serve and protect the public. Cayton was further asked to review the Health Professions Act and its regulations, to make recommendations to help modernize the regulatory system in B.C.
The report includes 21 recommendations for the CDSBC to help make sure the college is acting in the public’s best interests. Government has accepted all recommendations and Dix has directed the CDSBC to bring forward an implementation plan within 30 days. Dix will also continue to monitor the college's progress in implementing all the recommendations.
The report also puts forward a series of suggestions to renew B.C.’s overall health-regulatory framework. In response to these suggestions, Dix has established a steering committee to consider options and draft a proposal on how to modernize the regulatory framework for health professions in B.C. The committee will be chaired by Dix, with Norm Letnick, health critic for the official Opposition, and Sonia Furstenau, health critic and house leader for the BC Green Party caucus, joining him as committee members.
Cayton has been commissioned to advise the steering committee in its review of B.C.’s health profession regulatory system.
Additionally, health professional colleges have been asked to look at proposals where it makes sense to come together. B.C.’s service delivery environment has changed, where team-based care is becoming the norm. The amalgamation of colleges, where appropriate, is part of the shift towards team-based care, improved efficiency and the delivery of comprehensive care. This move was recently successful with the amalgamation of the three nursing colleges and is beneficial both to the college, to registrants and to patients.
Health regulation plays a vital role in B.C. by setting and enforcing the standards of professional behaviour, competence and ethics that underpin the day-to-day interactions patients and the public have with health professionals. In 2017, amendments to the Health Professions Act were brought into effect to strengthen the powers of the minister to intercede when appropriate to ensure the public’s best interests are being met.
Cayton is currently an international advisor to the Professional Standards Authority and a leader in the field of professional regulation. He has assisted many regulators throughout Canada and internationally, including the former College of Registered Nurses of BC, to enhance and reform their regulatory oversight mechanisms and processes. Cayton was chief executive of the U.K. Professional Standards Authority from 2007-18.
- The CDSBC registers, certifies and regulates more than 3,000 dentists, more than 6,000 certified dental assistants and seven dental therapists in the public interest.
To learn more about An Inquiry into the Performance of the College of Dental Surgeons of British Columbia and the Health Professions Act, visit: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/health/practitioner-professional-resources/professional-regulation
Two backgrounders follow.