Regulatory News (CLEAR News Online)

The latest news from the regulatory community. Archived headlines and reports can be viewed at
  • 11 Aug 2013 11:37 PM | Stephanie Thompson (Administrator)

    The Professional Regulatory Board of Medicine in the Phillipines has released a position paper on Stem Cell Medicine, noting education, training and experience requirements necessary for physicians wanting to practice this specialty.  While injection in and of itself is under the scope of practice of general medicine practitioners, injection of stem cell solution for the treatment of cancer, Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, etc. requires extensive training in these areas.  Foreign-trained physicians wishing to practice stem cell therapy also face special requirements and must obtain special temporary permits from the Professional Regulation Commission.


  • 02 Aug 2013 10:38 AM | Adam Parfitt (Administrator)

    Boston Globe report has alleged that regulatory boards in Massachusetts have conducted business without a quorum on more than a dozen occasions in recent years. The report claims that seven of the licensing boards supervised by the Department of Public Health have acted in this way. State law requires a majority of the number of positions on the Board to be present in order for a meeting to be considered quorate. The press report may trigger a wave of litigation that challenges rulings made by Boards meeting without a quorum.

  • 02 Aug 2013 10:38 AM | Adam Parfitt (Administrator)

    Illinois Governor Pat Quinn has claimed that his state's Medical Marijuana Act, which comes into effect January 1, 2014, "has the nation's strictest standards to prevent abuse." The state becomes the 20th to legalize medical marijuana, and has agreed 35 conditions that would make a person eligible for cannabis therapy. Among restrictions are prohibitions on qualified recipients being able to grow their own crop, while prescribing doctors must be those treating the patient for the same condition for which the prescription is being sought (thus reducing the risk of "pot doctors" who specialize in medical marijuana prescriptions).

  • 02 Aug 2013 10:37 AM | Adam Parfitt (Administrator)

    Dennis Kendel, a former long-term registrar of the Saskatchewan College of Physicians and Surgeons, is under contract with the provincial government to provide a report concerning the regulation of teachers. Media reports suggest that the province's minister of education has concerns about the disciplinary processes currently in place for the profession, particularly related to transparency. A full report is due at the end of September.


  • 02 Aug 2013 10:36 AM | Adam Parfitt (Administrator)

    The Professional Standards Authority (PSA) has issued a call for information about the ways in which regulators can encourage health professionals and social workers to be more candid when adverse incidents take place. The call has arisen as a result of the Report of the Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust Public Inquiry, recommendations from which included:  

    • Where poor care has caused, or may have caused, death or serious harm to a patient, the patient or their representative should be fully informed of the incident and offered appropriate support.(Recommendation 174)
    • Statutory duties should be introduced that require healthcare providers and professionals to be candid about treatment or care they believe or suspect has caused death or serious injury to a patient.(Recommendation 181)
    • In certain circumstances it should be a criminal offence to breach these duties or obstruct another from performing them. (Recommendation 183)

    The deadline for responses is Friday 9 August 2013, and responses can be directed to

  • 20 Jul 2013 11:36 PM | Stephanie Thompson (Administrator)

    The General Medical Council (GMC), the regulator responsible for Doctors and Physicians in the UK, recently announced the number of physicians participating in the newly implemented revalidation process.  The proposal and implantation of revalidation for doctors represented the biggest change to medical regulation in more than 150 years.  The process means that the UK’s 235,000 licensed doctors must prove continuing competence and fitness to practice.  Within the first six months, over 7,500 doctors had their recommendation for revalidation approved by the GMC and it is expected that at least 30,000 will revalidate by the end of the year.  The goal is for the vast majority of practicing doctors to complete the initial revalidation process by 2016.

    The revalidation system is based on an annual appraisal to which doctors are to bring information about their practice, information about any complaints or compliments from patience as well as any evidence they are keep up to date in their knowledge, skills and abilities.  If recommended positively by the Responsible Officer (usually a senior doctor or medical director with responsibility for oversight of their local practitioners), a doctor will be granted revalidation by the GMC.

    The UK is the first country in the world to introduce revalidation across its whole healthcare system.  The GMC is very pleased with the progress made in the first six months and is confident the revalidation process will continue to ensure patients in the country receive safe and effective care.  Niall Dickson, the GMC’s Chief Executive and Registrar noted “Already revalidation has had a real impact on the ground with improvements in hospitals and other settings in the oversight of clinical practice.”

  • 20 Jul 2013 11:36 PM | Stephanie Thompson (Administrator)

    Last month, the Brazilian Senate approved the Medical Act, establishing the regulation of physicians.  Various versions of the bill (268/2002) have been considered in the Senate over the past 12 years.  The Act as recently approved by the President calls for the regulation of surgical activities, general anesthesia and invasive diagnostic procedures and will not interfere with the scope of practice of physiotherapy, psychology, nursing, optometry, etc.

    More (Spanish article)  (translate via Google translate)

  • 20 Jul 2013 11:35 PM | Stephanie Thompson (Administrator)

    A panel discussion sponsored by the Alliance for Health reform and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation highlighted the large number of scope of practice bills being proposed in the US and commented on the trend.  Panelists cited workforce issues - the increased need for access to primary care and care in underserved areas - as the impetus for many of the bills.  Nurse practitioners and physician assistants are the primary focus, but optometrists, pharmacists and chiropractors were also the subject of some proposed changes.  The panel debated the value of changing scopes of practice versus team-based care as a solution to care access and cost concerns.


  • 20 Jul 2013 11:35 PM | Stephanie Thompson (Administrator)

    The Optometry Amendment Act in Manitoba expands the scope of practice for optometrists to allow them to prescribe and administer drugs for eye conditions such as infections, glaucoma, dry eye and allergies.  The scope also extends to allow removal of superficial foreign bodies from the eye and ordering diagnostic tests.  Health Minister Theresa Oswald cites the benefits of this change as improved access and reduced wait times for eye patients.


  • 20 Jul 2013 11:34 PM | Stephanie Thompson (Administrator)

    In a case similar to ones in North Carolina and Texas, an advice columnist has sued the Kentucky Board of Examiners of Psychology for allegedly violating his right of free speech.  The Board issues a cease-and-desist affidavit to John Rosemond, a nationally syndicated advice columnist, arguing that his column constitutes the practice of psychology, which requires a license in Kentucky.  Though Rosemond holds a psychology license in North Carolina, the Kentucky Board claims it is unlawful for him to use the title "psychologist" in Kentucky where his column is published in the Lexington Herald Leader.  The Institute for Justice is representing Mr. Rosemond in his case.


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