Regulatory College Updates
Hill+Knowlton Strategies, a professional lobbying and advocacy company, began providing public affairs support to the Coalition for a College of Diagnostic and Therapeutic Health Professionals in December 2012 to help generate the political willpower for a self-regulating umbrella college. Since then we have accomplished several project objectives and are progressing forward on our strategy.
The Coalition includes:
- The BC Society of Laboratory Science [Med Lab Technologists and Assistants] - BCSLS
- The BC Association of Medical Radiation Technologists - BCAMRT
- The Cardiac Technologists Association of BC - CTABC
- The BC Ultrasonographers Society -BCUS
- The BC Society of Respiratory Therapists - BCSRT
There are over 10,000 of these allied health professionals across
In December, a strategy session was held...
click here for full letter
CSMLS Press release: Call for MLA regulation
CSMLS Position Statement for support of regulation
Joint BCSLS/BCAMRT Regulatory College Proposal
On July 11, 2007, BCSLS and BCAMRT submitted a proposal for the establishment of a joint regulatory college. The proposal, Professional Practice... in the Public Interest, envisions a collaborative and flexible approach that puts public safety first.
The joint proposal is now under review by the Ministry of Health.
Click here to read the proposal in its entirety.
BCSLS applied to the Health Professions Council (HPC) in 1994 to have Medical Laboratory Technology regulated under the public interest criteria of the Health Professions Act (HPA). The HPA exists to create regulatory bodies that oversee health professionals practice where there may be a risk of physical, mental or emotional harm to the health, safety or well-being of the public.
In May 1999 the HPC recommended to the Minister of Health the formation of a College of Medical Laboratory Technology to register both medical laboratory technologists and assistants. The full text of their report, Recommendations on the Designation of Medical Laboratory Technology is available online.
Regulatory colleges are self-governing professional bodies mandated by the government to protect the public from harm. Under BC law they must be autonomous from other professional organizations that primarily seek to represent the interests of their members. Once a regulatory college is mandated it may require its members to be registered or licensed within the province. It assesses annual fees, and in collaboration with other health care stakeholder establishes standards for continuing professional competency and ongoing quality assurance measures. It also conducts investigations into complaints by the public about registrants. Two thirds of a colleges Board of Directors and its Executive Committees are elected by college registrants. One-third must be government appointed public interest representatives who are not registrants.
US and Canadian studies indicate that between 70-80% of the data contained in a patients medical chart is provided by the laboratory. When a laboratory test is used as a basis for patient diagnosis, the diagnosis rests upon the dependability of the test, including the procedures related too:
- Specimen procurement and storage
- Specimen processing and identification
- Test reliability (quality control: preparation/use of reagents, maintenance of instruments and manipulation of specimens).
So, BCSLS supports the creation of a regulatory college to ensure the public safety and its members competency through:
- System-wide standards of practice
- Provincial competency requirements
- Peer and public accountability
- Recognition by other health care professionals
- Better integration of internationally trained laboratory professionals.
BCSLS and the BC Association of Medical Radiation Technologists (BCAMRT) are jointly studying some outstanding issues raised by the government about the value of diagnostic services regulation. We want to hear our members and the publics ideas and concerns. The report is expected in the fall. But, we must continue to keep this issue at the forefront now. The integrity and safety of the laboratory system is too important to wait.
It is time to act. Our Board and many individual members have contacted their MLAs and the Minister of Health asking them to act on the HPC report (1999). Since the report was published regulatory colleges have been formed in Nova Scotia and Manitoba. The Newfoundland and Labrador Association of Laboratory Technologist (NLSLT) has been invited by their government to start the process of forming a college. This leaves BC and PEI as the only two provinces still not taking positive steps to license medical laboratory technologists. See regulation map.
BCSLS representatives have met with:
- Hon. Colin Hansen, Minister of Health Services, September 9, 2004
- Deputy Minister of Health Services, Dr. Penny Ballem, November 5, 2004
- Hon. Sindi Hawkins, Minister of Health Planning, in January 31, 2003
- Several meetings with Cabinet Ministers and the Deputy Minister over the past 2 years.
All of them assured us that a college is in the works. We will be seeking a meeting with the new Minister of Health Honourable George Abbott in the near future.
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THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT OF THE PROFESSION