Bylaw amendments

Proposed amendments: physician assistants

In the fall of 2023, in consultation with the Ministry of Health, the College proposed bylaw changes introducing a framework for the licensing and regulation of physician assistants in BC in response to the urgent need to resource emergency departments. The proposed Bylaws were approved, enabling physician assistants to work under the delegation and supervision of physicians in emergency department settings in the province.

The College has since been working with the Ministry of Health and health system partners to develop a structure that enables physician assistants to work in emergency departments within health authorities. Recently, questions were brought forward regarding the functionality of section 10-3(2). Specifically, concerns have been raised that the current language does not allow physician assistants to provide the level of intended support in a team-based emergency department environment to perform the acts listed under section 10-3(1).

To address the concerns and enable physician assistants to support emergency departments in hospitals as intended, on February 23, 2024, the College Board approved further amendments to sections 10-1 and 10-3 of the Bylaws. The proposed amendments continue to require a supervising physician to be personally satisfied regarding the physician assistant’s competency to perform the restricted activity, while enabling the physician assistant to perform restricted and delegated acts with more autonomy in situations the supervising physician deems appropriate.  

Submit comments by April 23, 2024

In accordance with section 19(6.2)(a)(ii) of the Health Professions Act, notice of the proposed bylaw amendments will be posted for a six-week period, providing registrants and other interested parties the opportunity to review and comment.

Comments can be submitted to the following:

College of Physicians and Surgeons of British Columbia
Registrar and CEO
Fax: 604-733-3503

Ministry of Health
Director, Regulatory Initiatives
Professional Regulation and Oversight Branch

The legislation that provides a common regulatory framework for health professions in BC
The College Bylaws under the Health Professions Act
Additional resources to help patients understand regulation of medical practice in BC