Calling all BCDHA Members! 
November 4, 2019

BCDHA has reviewed the proposed changes to the Dental Hygiene Regulations, and we are calling on all BCDHA members to send a letter of support to the professional regulation division of the Ministry of Health indicating your support and any suggestions you have. The deadline for submission to the government is December 2, 2019, so don’t delay!

The proposed amendments to the Dental Hygiene Regulation include the removal of the ‘365-day rule’, clarification regarding the ability of dental hygienists to self-initiate the administration of x-rays and the ability to provide oral local anesthesia without a dentist being on site.

Please click here to view the press release from the Minister of Health regarding the proposed amendments. Please click here to go the Dental Hygiene Regulation page on the Ministry of Health website (scroll down and expand the item title “Proposed Regulation Amendments”).

BCDHA will be sending a formal response to the Ministry of Health and the College of Dental Hygienists of BC (CDHBC) with a list of recommendations that we would like the government to consider prior to the finalization of the regulations.

Please remember that until these regulation changes are signed and made official, you must continue to practice within the existing 365-day rule and other current regulations.

Points BCDHA will make to government:

1) Ask the Ministry to move forward with these regulatory changes as soon as possible;

2) While we have confidence that the CDHBC will establish standards, limits and conditions that reflect safe and competent dental hygiene practice it is difficult to comment on some elements of these proposed regulations when the standards, limits and conditions are not available for review;

3) Section 6 is both unnecessary and confusing and therefore, we will recommend omitting the entire section. Should the government disagree, BCDHA will suggest the existing terminology for section 6.1 ‘independent practice’ be clarified and consideration given to using the phrase ‘private dental hygiene practice’ instead. We will also suggest a change to section 6.3 to ‘A registrant, in the course of providing dental hygiene services to a patient, will refer the patient to an appropriate health care provider according to the needs of the patient.’ We think that this is an important distinction because dental hygienists are required to make referrals based on the needs of the client, and the referral path should reflect the most appropriate health care professional who is not always a dentist.

4) We understand that ‘prescribing’ is a long-term challenge and that the current proposed regulations do not include prescribing rights for dental hygienists. This lack of prescribing rights may impact access to some local anesthetics and other prescription drugs that are important for the provision of safe and competent oral health care. Moving forward, after these current regulations are approved, we look forward to further discussion and consultation with government and stakeholders and also look forward to hearing how government intents to proceed with ensuring that dental hygienists have prescribing rights to ensure comprehensive dental hygiene care can be provided for BC citizens.

Please consider sending a letter, in your own words, to indicate your support for moving the proposed regulation forward to completion. The government has requested that comments on the proposed regulation changes be submitted to both the Ministry of Health at PROREGADMIN@gov.bc.ca and to the College (CDHBC) at cdhbc@cdhbc.com. If you wish to share your comments with BCDHA, we would love to receive a copy at info@bcdha.com.

Help your profession ensure these regulations are signed off and finalized. If you have specific questions about this topic, please contact the BCDHA Board at board@bcdha.com or Andrea Burton, Executive Director at aburton@bcdha.com.

Sincerely, Tammy Gulevich, BCDHA Board Chair