HealthcarePapers 16(4) April 2017 : 30-35.doi:10.12927/hcpap.2017.25204

Evolving Professional Regulation: Keeping up with Health System Evolution

Elizabeth F. Wenghofer and Sophia M. Kam


In this article, we reflected on the notion that an evolving healthcare system requires evolving professional regulation to keep pace with system growth and change. The importance of interprofessional and patient-centred care for Ontario's healthcare system is clear. However, the profession specificity of the system is strongly embedded through Ontario's institutional and legislative structures. The result is an evolving system of care with the system of health professional regulation being somewhat left behind. Health professional regulators now have a challenge to "un-silo" regulation in a healthcare system that is evolving toward "un-siloed" care. Regulatory structures that govern single professions in a system that requires collective and additive competence is thus potentially problematic and may lead to attribution of blame to individuals where improvement is required at the level of the team. The shift in culture needed for interprofessional regulation challenges both how providers see themselves in the healthcare system, and the very foundations of professional autonomy.



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