Health Professions and Occupations Act (formerly Bill 36)

On November 24, 2022, the BC government completed third reading of the new Health Professions and Occupations Act (formerly known as Bill 36), which will bring sweeping changes to how health professions are governed and regulated. In May 2023, our president, board chair and CEO met with the Ministry of Health deputy minister to voice concerns expressed by members, which focus on the shift to appointment of college boards and changes related to investigation and discipline.

The Ministry will now move toward developing regulations before the Act takes effective, a process which could take a year or more. It is extremely unlikely that government will repeal legislation that has received royal assent. At this time, we will focus our efforts on this ‘window of time’ while regulations are being developed to advocate on behalf of our members so that your views are reflected in the implementation. We are in discussions with other organizations representing health professionals so that our responses are aligned and coordinated.

It should be noted that the Act also contains important improvements in supporting cultural safety and humility, regulating additional professional occupations, and consolidating smaller regulatory colleges to improve their capacity to regulate effectively. 

Below is a timeline of key updates in the HPOA's implementation:

  • November 2022: The HPOA receives Royal Assent in the BC legislature.

  • October 2023: Specific parts of the HPOA were brought into force to stand up the Superintendent’s Office – a new oversight body for regulatory colleges

  • June 2024: The Ministry has appointed Sherri Young to lead the new Office of the Superintendent of Health Professions and Occupations Oversight. She has been in the Yukon since 2004 and has worked for Indian and Northern Affairs Canada and the Yukon government, most recently as its public service commissioner.

  • June 2024: The amalgamation of some smaller health regulatory colleges is set to take effect (Note: the College of Physicians and Surgeons will not be amalgamated with any other colleges)


  • The Ministry of Health released an update December 2023 on the status of the HPOA via its newsletter.
  • We held a town hall webinar on April 25, 2023 in which government public servants outline the reasons for the Health Professions and Occupations Act and explain what this means for doctors; followed by a discussion with Doctors of BC leaders on the next steps to effectively advocate on behalf of the profession. This is a written summary of that webinar.
  • Doctors of BC previously raised concerns about the proposed changes through two submissions following the release of the Cayton Report
  • Doctors of BC’s position on the Health Professions and Occupations Act can be found in a president’s letter sent to members in January 2023. 
  • Doctors of BC Past President Dr Ramneek Dosanjh spoke to CTV News, “This is not the time to implement and make these kinds of sweeping changes without deep consultation that could actually impact our profession and our patients.”
  • Doctors of BC President Dr Joshua Greggain spoke with Vancouver Sun noting that "Doctors of BC supports efforts to hold our health-care providers, including physicians, accountable to a high standard for both public confidence and health issues.” However, he said the “process matters as much as outcome and many physicians have been blindsided by a process they weren’t fully informed about."

You can find more information and FAQs on HPOA on the BC government website. 

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