New BC public advisory network to inform regulatory work

Although the College holds routine consultations to seek feedback from the public, registrants and key health partners, low public participation rates are common, which means gathering meaningful feedback can be a challenge. 

The BC Public Advisory Network (BC-PAN) is a new multi-college initiative formed to encourage more comprehensive and meaningful public engagement on important issues related to health-care regulation in BC. A total of seven colleges have partnered to establish the BC-PAN: the BC College of Nursing Professionals, the College of Dental Surgeons of BC, the College of Occupational Therapists of BC, the College of Pharmacists of BC, the College of Physical Therapists of BC, the College of Massage Therapists of BC, and the College of Physicians and Surgeons of BC. 

BC-PAN members will provide feedback on important regulatory issues such as practice standards and policies, strategic priorities, and communication and education efforts developed for the public. BC-PAN members include both patients and caregivers with varying levels of experience with the health-care system, and representing different demographics in the population (gender, age, ethnicity, geographic location, health conditions, and practice setting experience). 

The BC-PAN is currently in its pilot phase and an inaugural meeting was held on September 25, 2019. Eleven public members gathered with representatives from the college partners to set the BC-PAN’s terms of reference and discuss topics such as: What does trust mean in a patient-health-care professional relationship? How can colleges improve their complaints processes? And what information do patients and caregivers need in order to feel confident that their health-care provider is up-to-date? 

The College of Physicians and Surgeons of BC is excited to play a leading role in the formation of the BC-PAN and looks forward to the group’s ongoing development throughout the remainder of the pilot phase.