You Talk. We Listen.
By now you know we’ve been working hard to consult about the potential for clinic regulation in Ontario. The one and only thing about the consultations that has disappointed me is the suspicion I’ve encountered about the consultation process itself.
It appears that many people seem to think that our working group has already made a final decision.
That is not true.
We actually do listen to you and the more thoughtful and well-researched the information you provide, the more useful it is in shaping the final product.
The clinic regulation consultation has been and is intense – there’s an opportunity for input through a dedicated website, ontarioclinicreguation.com, by email, phone calls, commenting through the blog, in-person at town halls or in writing. You are welcome to reach out to me or any of the other 12 Colleges involved in the project.
What I am about to say applies equally to the smaller consultations we hold, like when we ask your opinion about a Standard or when we invite you to take part in a website survey.
The response you provide helps to create whatever we are working on. When we get responses that tell us that something won’t work (our definition of clinic is too broad or we shouldn’t include sole practitioners for example), we are likely to change it so it makes better sense. The more specific you are in your feedback, the more helpful it is to us in identifying the weaknesses.
Sometimes your feedback might tell us the item we are consulting about is confusing or ambiguous— if this happens, we head back to the drawing board and try to make it clearer.
If the response to a consultation was overwhelmingly negative, with lots of information about how we had made a mistake, this would drive us to do further research.
Public consultations are not popularity contests.
Frankly, it’s easier to scare up negative feedback than thoughtful input, so sometimes a high number of negative responses does not persuade Council not to move forward with a decision.
It is the quality of your input that matters the most.
Consultations are not just with the profession. We ask other regulators how they approach things. Sometimes we ask special interest groups for their input —like employers or physiotherapist assistants. And, whenever we can, we try to get the opinions of patients and their caregivers too. Help us by telling your friends, family and even your patients to check out our website and get involved.
I promise you that what you tell us does impact the decisions made.
And that’s how the profession really makes rules for the profession.
It’s a little wee thing, but maybe you could add it to your list of New Years’ Resolutions? “In 2016, I will participate in self-regulation!”