Physio Forward: New Provincial Committee, IEPTs/Interim Licensing & PBC Updates

We’ve had action on a few advocacy files this week, so I’m going to focus on that in today’s update.

Amalgamation

First and foremost though, tomorrow (June 28th) is Amalgamation Day for our new College. You shouldn’t expect to feel or see a lot of changes right away, and there’s nothing you need to do right now in preparation. Over the next few months and weeks we’ll all be keeping an eye on how things are progressing – and please let us know if you need help or guidance with anything.  You will want to keep a close eye on the College website for news and updates (Currently the site is https://c7amalgamation.com/ although that will change in the next few days, but the link should still take you to the right place).

Provincial Allied Health Strategic Plan Advisory Network

I was really honoured to be voted to represent all regulated Allied Health professions on the new Provincial Allied Health Strategic Plan Advisory Network (PAHSPAN). This is a great opportunity to represent Physiotherapy, but also bring forward all of the concerns and challenges facing the rest of the regulated Allied Health Professionals (Chiro, OT, RMTs, Optometry, Dental Hygiene, etc.) The Network consists of government and health authority leadership, the regulators of the two new Colleges and union representatives. It will be a powerful decision-making group in the province and it is definitely my hope that our presence on this committee will make advances for all of Allied Health. I’ll continue to keep you updated on our progress and key concerns. Yesterday I spent quite a bit of time highlighting a key challenge, which is that the Allied Health Policy Secretariat (AHPS) within government, has a primary focus on the public health care system. Some of you have definitely noticed that, when you have wanted to apply for the new incentive program, and it is only accessible for those who work in the public system. It’s a bit frustrating when the AHPS mandate is to represent all of Allied Health, but the majority of individuals who work in Allied Health are not necessarily working in the public system (you can imagine how the Optometrists feel for example). There is a lot of work ahead of us, but I am excited that finally Allied Health is gaining a strategic table within government.

Internationally Educated Physiotherapists

We also had a chance to meet with government last week about internationally educated physiotherapists, and the challenges the profession is facing with the loss of the interim licensing program. If you reviewed our new College bylaws you will have noticed that many of the other professions that are going to be sharing our regulatory body, have interim or provisional licensing options. In some cases, they have similar “you can only fail the exam three times” rules, but follow up on that with alternative planning for individuals who do fail three times, to give them options to still gain their license.

Pacific Blue Cross Update

And lastly for this week, we have now had two meetings with the senior leadership of Pacific Blue Cross, and we are all eager to make strides in clarifying and managing the current situation. We are excited to note that we have struck a task force comprised of PABC (staff and some invited members), CPA and PBC, as well as the CEOs of all three organizations. The meetings to date have been productive and collegial, and we hope to have more news to share soon!

There’s so much going on, but those are the highlights for me this week and I look forward to updating you on a regular basis! Let me know if you have any questions or specific areas you’d like me to address.

Andrea Burton, CEO