Is it a Health Professions Act Steering Committee, or is the Health Professions Act Committee Being Steered?
The DABC was pleased that an all-party steering committee was established to review and seek input into new regulations for health professionals (including Denturists) under the Health Professions Act. However, if the steering committee was designed to ensure openness and transparency of the process - it has been a failure.
“The steering committee appears to be an aberration, not of the legislature but a Ministry of Health concoction. MLAs are elected members not employees or pawns of the Ministry of Health. MLAs have an oversight duty. And, Mr. Dix has another special role as a member of the executive branch of government.”
The steering committee is made up of the Minister of Health, Adrian Dix, Norm Letnick Liberal Health Critic and Sonia Furstenau BC Green Health Critic. The DABC has reached out to the members of this steering committee with little success.
Adrian Dix has been unwilling to meet with the DABC -- the Green Party has simply not responded to request to meet -- and the BC Liberal Parties Norm Letnick when asked to meet responded, “Thanks for writing. Since my brother is a dentist, I removed myself from any discussion or decisions regarding anything to do with teeth.”
Allan Boos reflected, “How can one member recuse himself from any discussions regarding teeth when it is a major part of the three-person committees work ... especially when he is in effect the only member of the opposition?
His views should reflect the people that did not vote NDP or Green and he should be the one ensuring that seniors voices are heard. The remaining members are in a coalition designed to hold the government together".
To be fair the Denturist Association of BC does acknowledge that the BC Liberal Party has been open to meet and has shown the most interest at the level of the legislature. However, it has also been clear that very few MLAs from any party are aware of the Harry Cayton report, its findings or the existence of the work of this steering committee.
In closing Allan Boos stated, “The Denturist Association is not a political organization and we have been trying to educate MLAs on the facts related to seniors, our members and the regulations currently being discussed.
This steering committee appears to be an example of the tail wagging the dog and it is time the legislature took up this issue.”
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