Currently, there are 26 regulatory bodies that regulate health professions in Ontario, they are called “colleges”. All colleges have a duty to protect the interest of patients and the public. Even though regulated health professionals are held accountable by their regulatory colleges, the same may not be true for where they work.
In early 2015, a group of health regulatory colleges formed the Clinic Regulation Working Group to jointly explore the idea of regulating clinics in Ontario. These regulators shared concerns that some unregulated clinics may be compromising the care provided to Ontarians. Our goal is to enhance the quality of the healthcare system and public protection through effective regulation of clinics.
Members of the Working Group are:
- College of Audiologists and Speech-Language Pathologists of Ontario
- College of Chiropodists of Ontario
- College of Chiropractors of Ontario
- College of Dental Hygienists of Ontario
- College of Dental Technologists of Ontario
- College of Dietitians of Ontario
- College of Kinesiologists of Ontario
- College of Massage Therapists of Ontario
- College of Naturopaths of Ontario
- College of Occupational Therapists of Ontario
- College of Opticians of Ontario
- College of Physiotherapists of Ontario
To learn more about each college, click on the name to go to their website.
The Working Group has held regular meetings throughout 2015. The Group established their objectives and parameters for exploring clinic regulation, reviewed relevant research, and discussed potential models for clinic regulation. Their discussions resulted in a consensus that the best way to achieve their goal was to explore the creation of new legislation that specifically deals with clinics and other healthcare settings, and to regulate them under a new separate clinic regulator.
The stated objective of the Working Group is to develop a proposal to regulate clinics where healthcare services are provided to further strengthen the protection of patients and the public in Ontario.
The Working Group identified a number of key parameters that a clinic regulation model should meet. To strengthen protection of the public interest, the clinic regulation model must:
- Address quality of care.
- Facilitate accountability and adherence to professional standards.
- Mandate participation, with ability to suspend or limit clinic operations.
- Have a quality assurance component.
- Not contradict the Regulated Health Professions Act (RHPA).
- Not create undue burden on the clinics and professionals.
- Be able to work in a multidisciplinary setting, including where unregulated providers may work.
- Be non-duplicative and cost-neutral.
- Not create undue burden on Colleges.