HealthcarePapers 16(4) April 2017 : 25-29.doi:10.12927/hcpap.2017.25205

Professional Healthcare Regulation and Practice: The Case of Medicine in Britain

Mike Saks


This contribution comments selectively on the themes of the lead paper by Wilkie and Tzountzouris (2017) on aspects of Canadian healthcare regulation that impact on the crucial agenda of public protection. In a more skeptical sociopolitical climate in the modern world, these authors particularly highlight the need to ensure professional attitudes and behaviours enhance and sustain safe patient care – using the recent stance on professionalism of the College of Medical Laboratory Technologists of Ontario as an illustration of good practice. It is argued, though, that this important analysis could be sharpened further both academically and practically with greater awareness of the theoretical complexity surrounding this area and by drawing more fully on comparative international exemplars – particularly in relation to medicine in Britain, on which this paper focuses. The commentary concludes by noting that – notwithstanding its many merits – the lead paper could usefully show greater recognition of cognate research on health regulation in the Canadian context and, as British research has clearly indicated, professional impediments to the translation of formally designated regulatory frameworks into practice on the ground. In addition, there needs to be more awareness of the impact of the wider environment in which physicians and other healthcare professionals operate.



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