REGULATED HEALTH PROFESSIONS ACT
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New Legislation to Focus on Accountability, Patient Safety: Minister Selby
Legislation focusing on accountability, patient safety and ensuring all health professions in Manitoba are governed by consistent, uniform regulations will be proclaimed into force on Jan. 1, Health Minister Erin Selby said today.
"The modern Regulated Health Professions Act will change the way health professions are regulated in Manitoba to ensure consistency and a focus on patient safety," said Minister Selby. "Audiology and speech-language pathology will be the first two regulated health professions transitioning to regulation under the legislation with more to follow."
Currently, there are 21 statutes dealing with 22 different health professions. The Regulated Health Professions Act will replace these statutes, bringing all regulated health professions under one act.
The minister said the act will:
* further strengthen patient safety by ensuring all regulatory bodies establish standards of practice, codes of ethics and continuing competency requirements;
* improve patient safety by regulating the performance of activities specified in the act, called reserved acts, including diagnosis, prescribing drugs, cutting into tissue and applying a form of energy for diagnosis, for example, X-rays and CT scans;
* create consistent and fair complaint and disciplinary processes across all professional colleges;
* increase public representation on the boards of self-governing professions;
* provide improved accountability between the regulatory bodies and government; and
* allow health professions to continue to be self-regulating.
The new audiology and speech-language pathology regulations define the scope of practice of these professions including the reserved acts they may perform and provide a transition of the current Manitoba Speech and Hearing Association to become the College of Audiologists and Speech-Language Pathologists of Manitoba.
"The professions of audiology and speech-language pathology are pleased to have the opportunity to modernize the governing legislation under the new act to improve accountability and enhance the ability to protect the public interest," said Laura Lenton, president of the Manitoba Speech and Hearing Association. "It is a privilege to be self-regulating and an honour to lead the movement of change for self-regulating health professions in Manitoba."
The new College of Audiologists and Speech-Language Pathologists of Manitoba will be responsible for administering all regulated programs including revised and modernized requirements for registration, continuing competency and advanced competency certification. It will include public representatives to ensure transparent and accountable decision-making. Members of the professions will be provided clearly-defined standards to which they must adhere in order to ensure the public receives consistent, high-quality care.
Extensive consultations were undertaken to help develop the regulations including public and professional consultations, the minister said.
As audiology and speech-language pathology will now be regulated under the new legislation, the Manitoba Speech and Hearing Association Act will be repealed.
The minister noted the province is continuing to work with other regulatory bodies, including the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Manitoba and the College of Registered Nurses of Manitoba, to develop the necessary legislation to transition to regulation under the Regulated Health Professions Act.