Dialogue Volume 13 Issue 3 2017 - Page 21

GOVERNANCE Nurses’ Regulator Proposes New Model of Governance “Colleges need to put themselves in position to lead change” Anne Coghlan O tlaufer case. Ms. Wettlaufer had just rganizations which CNO’s Model for been found guilty of multiple counts regulate health-care Governance in 2020 of murder, attempted murder and ag- professions are coming gravated assault of her patients. under greater scrutiny, • Smaller Size “The trust that takes years to earn, with government signaling its intent • Use of Advisory Boards can be lost in the blink of an eye,” on taking a more direct role in the said Ms. Coghlan. regulation of health-care professionals • E  qual Number of Nurse Ms. Coghlan told Council that in Ontario. and Public Members if colleges are not seen to be proac- One recent example is Bill 87, the • C  ompetency-Based Board tive, they run the very real risk that Protecting Patients Act, which sends • Appointments government will step in and impose the message that a stronger public solutions. She said colleges need to put presence is necessary to ensure trans- • S  tatutory Committee themselves in position to lead change. parency in regulation. The new leg- Members would not sit on The CNO’s pre-emptive move was islation gives the Minister of Health Board to strike a task force to look at other and Long-Term Care the power to possible models of governance for the determine how statutory committees CNO. The task force’s mandate was to make recom- are structured, who sits on them and how they operate. mendations that would position it as a leader in regula- Greater scrutiny means that regulators must enhance tory governance and not let the scope of possibilities be transparency, address both real and perceived conflicts restricted by the current legislated framework. of interest and achieve outcomes that are defensible in “When we embarked on our governance review, we the public interest. didn’t know what direction it would take, or what In a presentation to CPSO Council, Anne Coghlan, would ultimately be the right model for us. But looking CEO and Executive Director of the College of Nurses at the landscape, we knew that the status quo was not of Ontario, said that the spotlight is perhaps not unique working, that change was inevitable and that we had an to self-regulating professions, but the perception that opportunity to shape that change,” she said. self-regulation favours professional over public interests The CNO, she said, got what it wanted from its task certainly fuels the media scrutiny, she said. force – a proactive, objective, expert and evidence- And that scrutiny only becomes harsher when a mem- informed review that was completely centred on public ber of a regulated health professional is found to have trust. committed heinous behaviour. Earlier this summer, the Hoping for enactment by 2020, the CNO envisions a Ontario government announced an independent public board much smaller in size (12 members versus the cur- inquiry into the circumstances of the Elizabeth Wet- ISSUE 3, 2017 DIALOGUE 21