The system of regulating health professionals in the province will see some major changes, according to the new report by the Steering Committee.

The report titled, “Recommendations to Modernize the Provincial Health profession regulatory framework,” was released today (Thursday), it outlines various ways on how BC’s health care system plans to modernize and improve transparency.

Adrian Dix, Minister of Health, and steering committee members Norm Letnick and Sonia Furstenau outlined the report being made to Healthcare.

“Cultural safety, governance, reducing the number of colleges, creation of an oversight, a new oversight branch of colleges and an increase in transparency will help bring health professional regulations to the 21st century,” said Dix.

The new oversight body will oversee the appointment of college board members, set performance standards, audit them and report on their performance.

Reducing the number of regulatory colleges from 20 to six, eliminating elections of college board members and making the complaint and discipline process more transparent to the public is part of the process.

“A reduced number of colleges is better because if you’re trying to fund a health professional college with 200, 300 or even 1,000 people it’s difficult to put together the resources necessary to ensure that the college works well,” explained Dix.

The reduction is already underway, as the provincial College of Pediatric Surgeons and College of Physicians and Surgeons are merging on Aug. 31, and the College of Midwives is joining up with the College of Nursing Professionals the following day.

“We wanted all health professional colleges with sufficient numbers of members to be able to accomplish all the important regulatory roles” adds Dix, “like ensuring public access, ensuring professional standards are high, ensuring they can investigate, ensure standards are maintained and enforced and evolved over time.”

The reform comes after public consultations were held from May 2019 to January 2020, and is the latest step in a process that began more than two years ago when numerous concerns about dysfunction at the College of Dental Surgeons of B.C were investigated.