Health Council releases paper on scopes of practice 'balancing act'
A comprehensive review of who-does-what in the health care system is required to help redefine roles and enhance health care reform, the Health Council of Canada said in a background paper released Dec. 8.
The paper, entitled A Review of Scopes of Practice of Health Professions in Canada: A Balancing Act, is available at the Health Council of Canada's website. Given the changing landscape in health care, a review of the responsibilities and expectations of health care professionals is needed to reflect the modern state of health care.
"As populations have grown and aged, as technologies have changed and as the supply and distribution of health care professionals has shifted, scopes of practice have transformed, but not necessarily in a uniform or coordinated fashion," said Council Chair Michael Decter. "This is particularly important at a time when collaborative care is viewed as a key component to primary care reform. If our doctors, nurses, pharmacists, technologists and other health care professionals are expected to work as a team, then we need to have a clear and common understanding of their roles."
Decter added that it will take a combined effort of health care professionals, regulators, policy makers and governments to "ensure that scopes of practice reflect the needs of patients and the public."