On April 11, 2019, BC’s Ministry of Health released a 107-page report authored by Harry Cayton, CBE, the former head of the UK’s Professional Standards Authority and an internationally-recognized expert on professional regulation. Entitled An Inquiry into the performance of the College of Dental Surgeons of British Columbia and the Health Professions Act, Mr. Cayton’s report, which can be found here (PDF), is the result of an inquiry initiated last spring by the Minister of Health. The report addresses the performance of the College of Dental Surgeons of BC in relation to certain standards of good regulation (the first two-thirds of the report), and also provides recommendations about how the Health Professions Act, the statute that governs BC’s health professional colleges (including CMTBC), could be modernized and improved to better promote and enhance patient safety.
CMTBC will need time to study the report and to reflect on its recommendations and conclusions, both at the Board and at the senior staff level. However, RMTs should be aware that CMTBC is not the subject either of the report or of recent media reporting on health colleges. In fact, many of Mr. Cayton’s recommendations – for example, providing the greatest public transparency about discipline outcomes that the current legislation allows – have been CMTBC’s practice for the past several years.
At the same time, we are aware that the report is a call to all colleges, as well as to government (which sets the legislative framework in which we operate), to maintain and strengthen the focus on patient safety, on openness and transparency, and on remembering that public trust is damaged if any regulator is seen to be acting primarily for the benefit of the profession that it regulates, rather than for the public.
The Minister of Health has struck a steering committee that will consult broadly over the next several months on the changes that British Columbians want to see to the regulation of health professions. CMTBC will continue to be in communication with the Ministry of Health and with its fellow health regulators – as it had been prior to the commencement of Mr. Cayton’s review in 2018 – and will continue to dedicate itself to advancing the public interest in safe, effective, and ethical health care in British Columbia.
CMTBC looks forward to incorporating additional recommendations from Mr. Cayton into our practices, and will continue to report out to registrants and the public on any changes to health regulation that appear to have a significant impact on CMTBC. Registrants or members of the public with questions are welcome to contact us.