Province seeks feedback on health care assistant registry

Ministry of Health plans changes for health care assistant registry

By Sarah Kloos,

Special to the Valley Echo


The current provincial health care assistant registry model has limited ability to provide oversight of health-care assistants, according to the Ministry of Health, which is voicing concern about that. The ministry is now proposing a new approach for regulating health care assistants and is seeking public feedback.

These changes, according to the ministry, aim to provide better regulation and oversight; to develop ands trengthen professional development; and to contribute to a system of care that focuses on the needs and safety of patients.

According to Columbia River-Revelstoke MLA Norm Macdonald, this is an important issue, here in the ColumbiaValley and right across the province.

“It’s very important to look after our seniors properly. That’s why it’s important that our healthcare personnel have the support and resources they need. The big challenge is that we don’t have enough people to give care to the seniors. We have also seen the fact that that people that are doing this work aren’t paid well enough, and it’s really unfair. It’s very important that they get they get supportive salaries and that they’re paid properly,”Macdonald told The Echo.

In June 2016, the board chairs of the College of Licensed Practical Nurses of British Columbia, College ofRegistered Nurses of British Columbia and College of Registered Psychiatric Nurses of British Columbia announced they are working to form a single nursing college to replace the three existing nursing colleges. With health care assistants providing basic nursing care and the infrastructure already in place to monitor the registry, a majority of stakeholders indicated support for moving the registry under the new nursing college.

Public comments about this new approach will be collected and used to help develop a phased approach to smoothly transition to the new model for oversight of health-care assistants over the next couple of years. The phases include creation of a new single provincial nursing college; amendments to the Health Professions Act to provide the legal foundation for the new model of oversight of health care assistants; and transition from the existing registry to the single provincial nursing college.

Details about this new regulatory approach have been outlined in the Health Care Assistant Oversight PolicyIntentions Paper for Consultation which is now posted for input until Feb. 7, 2017. For more information,