New legislation introduced by the Minister of Health last month to replace the Health Professions Act received Royal Assent on November 24, 2022.
The timing for the Health Professions and Occupations Act to take effect will be determined by Cabinet. Until then, the BC College of Oral Health Professionals will continue to be governed by the current Health Professions Act.
The Health Professions and Occupations Act contains important changes to the way health profession regulatory colleges fulfill our mandate to serve and protect patients and the public.
About the new legislation
The Health Professions and Occupations Act is a government initiative. According to the Ministry of Health, the new legislation enables:
- Further amalgamations to reduce the number of health regulatory colleges
- Creation of an oversight body that will promote accountability, transparency and consistency across regulatory colleges
- Improved transparency and accountability around complaints, with information about agreements between colleges and registrants made public.
- Commitment to cultural safety and humility, with discrimination as a form of professional misconduct or actionable conduct
- Information sharing between colleges and other agencies to enhance public safety and protection
- Improved governance, with regulatory college board members appointed via a competency-based process
The Health Professions and Occupations Act follows from three key reports:
- Part 2 of the Cayton Report (published April 2019)
- Recommendations to modernize the provincial health profession regulatory framework (August 2020)
- In Plain Sight: Addressing Indigenous-specific Racism and Discrimination in BC Health Care (November 2020)
Reimagined oral health care oversight is BCCOHP’s goal, and we are confident the new legislation will support this and achieve the key themes within the Cayton Report and the modernization recommendations.
The BC College of Oral Health Professionals regulates 16,000 certified dental assistants, dental hygienists, dental therapists, dental technicians, denturists and dentists. As a regulator, we protect the public in three main ways: by ensuring that oral health professionals are able to practice competently; by setting expectations for the delivery of safe and patient-centred oral health care; and by investigating complaints about oral health professionals.