Consultation has begun on proposed College of Physicians and Surgeons of British Columbia (CPSBC) bylaw changes that would enable physician assistants to work in emergency departments in BC. In consultation with the Ministry of Health, the CPSBC has posted proposed bylaw changes online for public consultation and feedback until 4 October 2023. If approved, the amended bylaw will allow physician assistants to practise in emergency departments under the direction and supervision of physicians and will require them to register with the CPSBC.
Physician assistants work under the direction and supervision of physicians to provide a broad range of health services, including performing patient exams, ordering laboratory and diagnostic tests, prescribing medications, managing treatment plans, and advising patients on preventive care and optimal health practices.
There are currently three physician-assistant training programs in Canada and training generally takes 24 months. Graduates are then eligible to write a certification exam from the Physician Assistant Certification Council of Canada to practise in the country. It is estimated that there are approximately 30 to 50 physician assistants living in BC.
Proposed amended bylaw and opportunity for feedback: www.cpsbc.ca/about/laws-and-legislation/bylaw-amendments/physician-assistants
BC’s Health Human Resources Strategy: https://news.gov.bc.ca/files/BCHealthHumanResourcesStrategy-Sept2022.pdf
Associate physician program and the practice-ready assessment program: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2022HLTH0067-001799
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