Registrar’s message: welcoming registrants from the College of Podiatric Surgeons of BC

The Honourable Adrian Dix, minister of health, announced last week proposed changes from a cross-party government steering committee tasked with modernizing the provincial health profession regulatory framework. The steering committee is currently seeking input from the public on its proposed way forward through an online consultation process, which ends on January 10, 2020.

The College Board is intending to submit a written response to the steering committee’s proposal. Registrants are also encouraged to provide input.

The steering committee’s consultation paper is available here.

The public consultation page can be found here.

Under the modernization proposal, the College of Physicians and Surgeons of BC, the BC College of Nursing Professionals and the College of Pharmacists of BC will be maintained as stand-alone regulatory colleges. The steering committee further proposed that two new colleges be established, one for oral health and one for all other regulated health-care professionals. While this College will remain as a stand-alone regulator, the merger with the College of Podiatric Surgeons of BC will proceed as was previously agreed to in principle.

In addition to helping government achieve its goal of reducing the number of existing colleges, the merger with the College of Podiatric Surgeons of BC aligns with the College’s commitment to making the health-care regulatory system more flexible, agile and responsive to better serve BC patients.

We look forward to welcoming podiatric surgeons as a new class of registration. Early in the New Year, we will start working with the registrar and the board chair of the College of Podiatric Surgeons to develop a transition plan to merge our two colleges, including conducting necessary financial, legal and regulatory audits, identifying steps for data integration, and reviewing current practice standards to ensure professional alignment.

The College is confident that existing processes, programs and practice standards can effectively accommodate the regulation of podiatric surgeons without a significant impact to operations. There are existing parallels in both professions as podiatric surgeons complete a four-year university program and receive a Doctor of Podiatric Medicine degree, followed by a hospital-based residency. Additionally, they diagnose, prescribe, perform procedures and operate a laser on the foot or lower leg. 

The merger with the College of Podiatric Surgeons of BC is one step this College is taking to help shape the future of health-care regulation in this province. We will provide further updates as we proceed through the merger.

Read the College’s published statement in response to the steering committee’s proposals here.

Heidi M. Oetter, MD
Registrar and CEO

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