Dialogue Volume 13 Issue 4 2017 - Page 6

MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT ****** If you have read the email that alerts you to Council decisions, you will already know that Council is recommending a $100 fee increase to renew an independent practice certificate. This increase, if approved, would bring the fee to $1725. This was not an easy decision. Public and physician members of Council understand the financial challenges currently facing physicians, and I can assure you that we are reluctant to add to your burden. However, Council’s foremost responsibility is to ensure that the College can fulfill its statutory duties in a timely manner. This means having the neces- sary resources in place to sustain a regulatory system that governs in the public interest. This year, the Registrar required all depart- ments to find savings in their budgets, which they did. But the reality is that more resources are needed. Across a full spectrum of investiga- tive and legal measures, we are experiencing a concerning growth in activity that is not stabi- lizing or decreasing. The result is an increase in the number of investigations, ICRC decisions, compliance cases, discipline referrals, and open hearings. The complexity of cases is also chang- ing, with a greater proportion of cases catego- rized as high-risk based on potential patient and public safety issues. Fulfilling these statutory obligations is not optional – the College must comply with the required programs and, in many cases, prescribed processes and timelines in order to protect the public interest. We have asked for discretion in relation to investigating certain matters, and government, so far, has been un- able to grant that. Numerous issues – some not always expected – also arrive at the College and require – based on risk, public safety, stake- holder relationships or direction by govern- ment – concentrated work efforts which often involves numerous departments and staff. The opioid strategy, the Medical Assistance in Dy- ing legislation, and Bill 87 implementation are all examples of external drivers that consume 6 DIALOGUE ISSUE 4, 2017 resources. We have heard from some physicians who have accused this College of being the most expensive regulator. This is not true. I ask that you refer to the chart on page 24. You will see that the CPSO is in the lower half of the spec- trum when compared with the other medical regulatory authorities across Canada. We are unable to tie our fees to levels of physician remuneration, and have had years when we did not increase the fees despite a better contractual environment. It is based on need assessed on an annual basis. The College is committed to being transpar- ent about its finances and its resource require- ments to operate programs. The Finance Committee regularly provides detailed reports to the public Council meetings and all Com- mittees and College programs report regularly on College activities and benchmarks. ****** This is my last letter as the College President. I thank my colleagues at Council, whose warm support I have deeply appreciated. I feel particula