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No registration fee refunds in case of COVID-19 vaccine mandate for RMTs

CMTBC has heard from several RMTs asking if they will receive registration fee refunds if they renew their practicing registration for 2022, but then withdraw from practice if a provincial COVID-19 vaccination mandate is imposed on RMTs and other private health care providers.

Although there is no such mandate as of today (November 29, 2021), on October 14, the Provincial Health Officer did impose a vaccination mandate on health care providers practicing in the public system. CMTBC advised RMTs of this development in a news story and newsletter released on October 15.

The October 14 PHO order – and subsequent updates – included a notice that a broader vaccine mandate would be imposed at some point in the future. Despite that notice, however, CMTBC is not yet aware of the timing or the exact terms of a COVID-19 vaccination mandate that would apply to RMTs. 

With respect to refunds, CMTBC’s position is that an RMT who renews as practicing for 2022, but subsequently chooses not to practice because (1) a vaccination mandate is imposed, and (2) the RMT chooses not to be vaccinated (other than because of a recognized exemption) would in most cases not be eligible to receive a refund of their practicing registration fee (exceptions may be made for RMTs with recognized medical or human rights-based exemptions). CMTBC’s Bylaws allow for refunds of registration fees in limited circumstances only, such as disability or illness that render an RMT unable to practice. Refunds are generally not issued to registrants who are able to practice but who decide not to do so for personal reasons.

Like all health profession regulators, CMTBC is a non-profit body that is funded entirely by registrant and applicant fees. To institute a policy of refunds or partial refunds for practice decisions within an RMT’s control would be administratively impractical and would also mean that the financial burden of regulation would be shifted onto those RMTs who pay the regular registration renewal fee.

CMTBC is providing this notice in advance of the December 15 registration renewal deadline in fairness to RMTs who may base their renewal decision on whether a refund will be provided in the event of a COVID-19 vaccination mandate.

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