Providing care for a monitored registrant

Registrants with identified health issues may be monitored by the College to ensure ongoing fitness to practise. Health monitoring will be based on regular reports from care providers.

What care providers need to know

Health monitoring of a registrant with a health issue is based on regular reporting by the registrant’s care providers. The reports requested by the College depend on the monitored registrant’s diagnosis.

To satisfy monitoring requirements, the College must receive ongoing updates to ensure there are no current concerns about a registrant’s fitness to practise. The College may request reports from a variety of care providers such as:

  • family physician
  • specialist (e.g. psychiatrist, neurologist)
  • counsellor or therapist
  • biological monitoring companies

Reports to the College

Progress reports form an important piece of a registrant’s health monitoring and continued ability to practise medicine in British Columbia.

The progress reports confirm whether the registrant:

  • continues to be a patient
  • is compliant with treatment recommendations
  • is compliant with biological monitoring (if applicable)
  • is fit to practise medicine

The College also expects a care provider to perform an appropriate history and clinical examination when preparing a report and rendering an opinion. This includes:

  • reviewing other health records
  • reviewing or ordering relevant investigations
  • a thorough medication history review
  • a PharmaNet search
  • a substance use history (if applicable)

Addressing concerns in a report

The monitored registrant is responsible for scheduling appointments every three to six months with their care provider.

A care provider should indicate it in their report if the registrant has not seen them or if they have unsuccessfully attempted to schedule an appointment with the registrant. The health monitoring department will follow up with the monitored registrant directly.

Ongoing updates and correspondence between the College and the care provider

Every three or six months, the health monitoring department will check in with the care provider through a simple template form.

Email or fax the form directly to the health monitoring department.

Contact health monitoring department for template form

Duration of health monitoring

The duration of health monitoring depends on the registrant’s diagnosis. It typically lasts two to five years and involves the recommendations of the registrant’s care provider(s).

Duration may be longer or indefinite with a progressive, chronic, or recurrent condition. In the case of substance use disorders, health monitoring usually lasts a minimum of five years. In the event of a relapse, it can last for the remainder of the monitored registrant’s professional career.

What if the monitored physician asks to discontinue health monitoring?

While the intervals and duration of report requests are at the College’s discretion, care provider recommendations are taken into consideration.

Care providers are asked to make their recommendations in the comment section of the regular report. Care providers often suggest changing the reporting interval before recommending discontinuation.
Note: The College may take other considerations into account. The College also takes a holistic review of each case before deciding whether to discontinue a registrant’s health monitoring.

What if a care provider closes practice or retires?

If a care provider is planning to retire or close their practice, they are asked to take the following steps:

  • Send a separate note or indicate it on their report to the College that they are retiring or closing their practice.
  • Indicate where to redirect requests for reports if they are referring the patient to a new care provider.

The College will often suggest the monitored registrant reach out to the Doctors of BC’s Physician Health Program, as they can assist in finding a new care provider.