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B.C. finishes merging health-profession colleges in plan for better oversight

VICTORIA — British Columbia’s government has amalgamated 11 health-professional colleges into two, setting the foundation for what it says is stronger oversight.

Health Minister Adrian Dix says merging the colleges is part of the government’s plan to ensure health professionals are regulated more consistently and robustly.

The new College of Health and Care Professionals of BC will oversee roles including dietitians, occupational and physical therapists, optometrists and opticians, psychologists, and speech and hearing professionals.

The College of Complementary Health Professionals of BC will regulate chiropractors, massage therapists, naturopathic physicians, acupuncturists and practitioners of traditional Chinese medicine.

The latest changes leave six health-professional colleges in B.C., down from 15 when work began on the mergers, and they were the final amalgamations in the Health Ministry’s plan to modernize the health-profession regulatory framework.

The government announced earlier this month that Sherri Young will lead the new Office of the Superintendent of Health Professions, which governs more than 120,000 regulated health professionals in B.C., to ensure the colleges are transparent, accountable and operating in the public interest.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 28, 2024.

The Canadian Press