The Regulation of Sonography: Just what is taking so long?

 

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Written by: Sarah Domino, Government Relations Consultant at Leonard Domino & Associates

Late last August it was publically announced that the HPRAC (Health Professions Regulatory Advisory Council) had recommended that Diagnostic Sonography becomes a regulated profession. This was largely due to the work done by the leadership team here at the OAMRS and their efforts in the detailed application submitted to HPRAC.

But since last August, for those not accustomed to the pace at which governments operate, it could easily appear as if nothing has been done. Luckily that is not the case. The regulation of diagnostic sonographers falls to Assistant Deputy Minister Denise Cole. ADM Cole and her staff are responsible for:

  • Vetting all concerns brought by stakeholders.
  • Consulting other potentially affected ministries.
  • Consulting with the College of Medical Radiation Technologists of Ontario; to develop a procedure for bringing the new profession under the college’s purview.
  • Assessing the health care climate in Ontario to ascertain where this new piece will best fit in the healthcare puzzle and determining.
  • Developing an appropriate regulation.
  • Briefing the Minister of Health and his staff.
  • Coordinating with Legislative Council to discuss everything above in as fine a detail as the minutia of the wording used in the final regulation.
  • Implementation and education regarding the new regulatory piece.

Unfortunately, although laid out in a fairly linear fashion here, the process can be far from it. There are time and budget issues when it comes to staffing a project such as this. The consultations and the resulting reports can take months and are often delayed. Getting facetime to brief the minister and his staff is another challenge, and then there is the back and forth with legislative council on the minutia of the regulation.  It is not uncommon for even minor regulations to take well over a year before they are implemented, and while some may consider this a small a piece of regulation, that would be inaccurate. The province of Ontario takes their duty to protect its citizens very seriously and will take the time they need to insure that the regulation of diagnostic sonography does so to the best of their abilities while still creating a flexible piece of regulation that can adjust with the development and changes in technology.

Ultimately ADM Cole is responsible for shaping exactly how the provincial government will go about implementing the regulation of diagnostic sonography, and the timeline in which it will happen. Throughout this entire process, your president and CEO Greg Toffner had been meeting with ADM Cole and members of her staff and will continue to do so. In an effort to help ADM Cole have the resources available to her, we will be hosting our annual OAMRS Queens Park Lobby Day in October and will announce the date once it is finalized. At the Lobby Day, we will be meeting with as many MPPs as possible to discuss why it is crucial that the Mistry of Health and Long Term Care make the regulation of sonography a priority. I would like to encourage you all to come join us, we find the message is more compelling when it comes from you who are effected each day by the lack of regulation.

 

 

 

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