Amendments to Health Professions Act would make Physician Assistants and Medical Diagnostic Sonographers Regulated Professions in Alberta

Adding physician assistants and medical diagnostic sonographers to the Health Professions Act is the first step in making them regulated professions in Alberta.

“Albertans should have confidence that health providers and health facilities in our province maintain high professional standards and provide the best possible care. The proposed changes will help ensure Albertans receive quality care from regulated, accountable health professionals and in facilities that are accredited using consistent, established measures.”

Sarah Hoffman, Minister of Health

Bill 14, the Health Professions Amendment Act, includes the following proposed amendments:

  • Adding physician assistants under the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Alberta and adding medical diagnostic sonographers under the Alberta College of Medical Diagnostic and Therapeutic Technologists;
  • Giving the Minister of Health authority to direct the College of Physicians and Surgeons to accredit AHS medical facilities;
  • Changing ownership requirements for physical therapy practices; and
  • Updating practice statements, protecting additional titles and changing college and schedule names.

The Health Professions Act, established in 2001, delegates professional self-governance to regulatory colleges and establishes standard processes for registration, continued competency, complaints and discipline. The Act also provides for professional standards of practice and codes of ethics.

Currently, more than 30 professions are governed under the Act. An additional three professions – paramedics, midwives and acupuncturists – are governed by the Health Disciplines Act.

Regulating health professionals ensures they maintain high standards of competency, safety and ethics and provide Albertans with high-quality care. It ensures health professionals are accountable for the care they provide and members of the public are protected. All regulatory colleges have councils with public members, who have full voting status, to ensure Albertans’ views are taken into account. The Act provides opportunities for health professionals to work to their full scope of practice and be fully utilized in the health system.