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Access to Medical Care Without Discrimination


The BC-PAN annual meeting was conducted virtually across two morning sessions. It was the
largest meeting to date, with 21 public advisors and 14 college partners in attendance. The
purpose of the meeting was to seek input from the public advisors on what regulators can do to
support access to health care without discrimination.

Executive Summary

  • The College of Dietitians of British Columbia (CDBC) presented on their commitment to
  • The College of Speech and Hearing Health Professionals (CSHBC) presented on their
    colleges expectations in addressing anti-discriminatory care.
  • The College of Physical Therapists of British Columbia (CPTBC) gave a presentation on
    the new Health professionals Occupation Act.
  • The College of Physicians and Surgeons of British Columbia (CPSBC) gave a presentation
    on their new draft practice standard, Access to Medical Care Without Discrimination.

Participating College Partners

  • Susan Prins (CPSBC)
  • Kelly Newton (CPSBC)
  • Heather Biggar (CPBC)
  • Colin Wong (CPBC)
  • Crystal Chung (CTCMA)
  • Cathy Silversides (CSHBC)
  • Elizabeth Bruce (BCCNM)
  • Aya James (CMTBC)
  • Joelle Berry (CSHBC)
  • Jen Pezel (CDBC)
  • Melissa Mungall (BCCOHP)
  • Susan Paul (CPTBC)
  • Megan Shields (COTBC)
  • Elana Siu (CCBC)

Participating Advisors

  • Joaquin Mercado
  • Trisha Halpenny
  • Laura Bennett
  • Dianne Johnson
  • Zamira Vicenzino
  • Margaret Jones-Bricker
  • Terry Browne
  • Dawn-Marie Duncan
  • Jeanette Lim
  • Esther Stewart
  • Delia Cooper
  • Tristyn Kellner
  • Prachi Khanna
  • Breanna Yu
  • Simmie Smith
  • Annie Danilko
  • Elena Kanigan
  • John Sherber
  • Simran Dhadda
  • Cindy Fu
  • Shawna Bennett

Other attendees

  • Jwan Modi (BC-PAN Public Engagement Coordinator)
  • Susanna Haas-Lyons (BC-PAN Meeting Facilitator)

Opening remarks: The meeting opened with a territorial acknowledgement from Cathy
Silversides, Director, Quality Assurance and Professional Practice, CSHBC.
Presentation – CDBC
Jen Pezel, Manager, Registration and Communications, CDBC, presented to the advisors and
provided an overview on their colleges commitment to anti-racism. In 2020-2021, the CDBC
signed a commitment statement acknowledging systemic racism in health care. Moving
forward, the CDBC is actively working towards tangible change, including efforts to diversify
boards and committees, providing more educational opportunities for staff and registrants,
publishing culturally sensitive resources on their website, and emphasizing joint decisionmaking in the development of new standards of practice.

Advisor questions:

  • What does the term “fair” mean in the context of equitable care and practice?
  • What are regulators currently doing to ensure that each employee has a holistic
    understanding of the college’s commitment to anti-racism, especially in the case of
    internal promotions?
  • Are there specific guidelines for food culture embedded in the college’s code of ethics?
  • Is there training available for dieticians to equip them for working with low-income

Presentation – CSHBC
Joelle Berry, Investigator, Complaints and Investigations, CSHBC, provided an overview on
CSHBC’s expectations regarding anti-discriminatory care. The CSHBC is committed to safe, and
patient-centered practice including addressing mental, emotional, and cultural safety. The
professional standard emphasizes accountability, specifically acknowledging increased risks for
Indigenous people in health care. Providers are required to personalize client care and assist
clients in finding necessary and appropriate services to ensure a comprehensive and tailored

Advisor questions:

  • How will the college implement these ideals into tangible changes and policies?
  • Is there any expectation for registrants to adopt sign language, or expand their skillset
    to provide care to patients with different cultural identities, and linguistic barriers?

Presentation – HPOA
Susan Paul, Manager, Professional Practice, CPTBC, presented on the new Health Professions
and Occupations Act (HPOA), which will come into force in 2025. The guiding principles for this
new Act emphasize safeguarding the public, fostering reconciliation with Indigenous peoples, and addressing Indigenous-specific racism. Notably, professional misconduct now includes “committing an act of discrimination,” and health professionals are obligated to integrate anti-discrimination measures into their practice. Additionally, colleges are tasked with establishing and funding a support program to aid vulnerable participants in the complaints and discipline program.

Advisor contributions:

  • Health care providers should lead by example and practise what they expect from their
  • colleagues.
  • Colleges should take a leading role in educating and fostering understanding, going
    beyond their regulatory/enforcement functions.

Presentation – CPSBC
Kelly Newton, Policy and Engagement Lead, CPSBC gave a presentation on CPSBC’s draft public
resource aimed to help communicate requirements set out for physicians and surgeons in the
Access to Medical Care Without Discrimination practice standard.

Advisor contributions:

  • To minimize excessive reading, create a summary document with links to the original material.
  • Use more graphics, bullet points, larger fonts, and lines to divide sections for a more
    readable document.
  • Include tips on how to initiate the conversation of misconduct with a physician, how to
    bring an advocate, how to make an appointment, and how to navigate conversations
    when feeling discomfort.
  • Provide an option to discuss with the College first instead of submitting a complaint or
    speaking to their physician.


  • Departing public advisors shared their key takeaways from working with the BC-PAN
    over the last several years.
  • The BC-PAN bid farewell to public advisors at the end of their term and thanked them
    for their work.
  • A meeting evaluation was completed.
  • Susanna provided closing remarks.