BC Care Providers Respond to Care Aide Registry Review

The BC Care Providers Association (BCCPA) yesterday provided its response to the independent review of the BC Care Aide and Community Health Worker Registry (the Registry).

The Registry, established in 2010, was developed to better protect seniors from elder abuse and to help remove abusive care aides from the public health care system. The government recently released the review, along with an action plan intended to address some of the issues outlined in the review.

In a letter to Minister of Health Dr. Margaret MacDiarmid, BCCPA CEO Daniel Fontaine reiterated a number of the Association’s serious concerns about the Registry, including its “scale of abuse” approach.

A scale of abuse model does not put the protection of seniors first,” says Fontaine. “The BCCPA supports a zero-tolerance approach to elder abuse. This sends a clear message that abuse will not be tolerated in the continuing care sector.” handonhand

Fontaine also conveyed the BCCPA’s concerns about the significant new costs and additional layers of bureaucracy the Registry imposes on BCCPA members, as well as its inconsistent investigation process and failure to recognize that employment status should be a separate issue from Registry status.

The BCCPA was hopeful the government’s review of the Registry would have provided some resolution or clear recommendations to fix these concerns; however, it now appears that the current flawed model will be expanded to include private pay providers.
Before moving forward, the BCCPA is encouraging the government to consider a number of recommendations, including:

  • Clarify that the Registry’s key and only mandate is to review the facts and determine whether someone should be on the Registry or not. There should be no involvement in the employment relationship between the employer and the care aide.
  • The government should determine whether it is prepared to accept a “scale of abuse” policy framework – or whether it supports a zero tolerance approach.
  • Impose a small $20 annual fee payable by care aides to maintain their status in the Registry to ensure the database is kept up to date and is recovering its costs.
  • Commit to an open and transparent auditing process to ensure the Registry is revenue neutral and does not duplicate work currently undertaken by other processes.
  • Where possible, develop a new system whereby the Registry is permitted to defer to the licensing branch to undertake an investigation on its behalf.

Fontaine urges the government to engage in further discussions with stakeholders over the coming months. “We would welcome the opportunity to continue working with the government to help find workable solutions for these issues.”