Council highlights for September 17, 2021
The 427th Meeting of the Council of the Royal College of Dental Surgeons of Ontario was held on Friday, September 17, 2021 at 9:00 a.m. via Zoom and streamed live on YouTube.
RCDSO President Sandy Venditti chaired the meeting.
CEO and Registrar Dan Faulkner provided a verbal update to Council.
- Most staff continue to work remotely. There is no immediate mandatory requirement for staff to return to the office. A vaccination policy will soon be available to keep staff and others safe on-site and must apply to all staff, Council and committee members, visitors and external vendors.
- The College’s work with the Canadian Centre for Diversity and Inclusion (CCDI) includes an assessment of RCDSO and significant training for the leadership team. A working group of staff is developing an action plan for the College that will cover human resource practices and our regulatory programs that interact with the public and the profession.
- In recognition of the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, the College will close on Thursday, September 30, 2021. Resources from CCDI on this topic will be made available for staff.
- Dentists are witnessing the changes in the delivery of oral health care. The College’s role is 100% about public and patient protection. The Registrar reported on several examples that are being watched including apps that are being offered dealing with oral care education and access to dental health services. Some define these changes as disruptions and others as advancement. The College is watching for evidence of patient harm as a result of these changes.
Dr. Carlos Quiñonez, Graduate Program Director, Dental Public Health, University of Toronto, spoke to Council on What is professionalism and what is undermining it today? The presentation focused on some of the forces that may undermine or challenge professionalism.
Dr. Quiñonez emphasized:
- Maintaining public trust and ensuring ethical decision-making is critical
- Policymakers, patients, and the public recognize and perceive our challenges
- Regulators and associations must care about the social contract and about professional pressures
- To maintain the status quo is to risk dentistry’s status as a caring profession.
By-law amendments: fees
Council at its May 20, 2021 meeting approved, in principle, a by-law amendment to remove the Consumer Price Index (CPI) increase for the 2022 membership renewal fee; it directed that the proposed by-law be circulated to the membership and stakeholders for at least 60 days for feedback.
Only one comment was received from the consultation; it was supportive of the amendment. Council approved that the annual renewal fee that will begin in mid-October 2021 will remain at $2,510.00 for 2022.
Budgeting and forecasting
Council heard a comprehensive analysis of fees and per diems. A series of fee amendments was approved including:
- Combining the application and registration fee to simplify fees for new applicants and reduce administration costs.
- Remove fees for:
- Damaged or lost certificates
- HPC confirmation of certificate
- Name changes
- Membership fees - the 2022 annual renewal fee will remain at $2510 as described above
- Several amendments for Council and Committee member per diems were also proposed that would be implemented for the next term of Council in 2023.
- Council decided to return to the matter involving per diems and changes to B-Law 10 to the Finance, Property, and Administration Committee for further considerations.
In other business
- Council approved a new Standard of Practice on the Performance of Intra Oral Procedures that are Not Controlled Acts by Preventive Dental Assistants, Level II Dental Assistants and Registered Dental Hygienists.
- The International Trade Committee was disbanded. The Registration Committee is well informed to deal with potential trade agreements that impact the mobility of dentists and the qualifications they must meet.
- Council agreed to adopt a risk-based approach to responding to advertising queries. The objective is to focus RCDSO resources only on advertising queries that give rise to risks to the public. Complaints received in relation to advertising will continue to be forwarded to PCRA for processing. Any information that is concerning will be brought to the Registrar’s attention for consideration of a Registrar’s Investigation. The College will explore further opportunities to modernize the approach to advertising and practice names issues. This may include a review of our regulation for advertising and practice names.
- Council considered the increased workload for the Inquiries, Complaints and Reports Committee based on direct action to reduce the backlog of cases and individual case timelines. Council agreed that the Executive Committee may approve, on a short term basis only:
- the payment of per diems up to 2.5 days for preparation in advance of a panel meeting.
- the payment of per diems of up to 1 full day for panel chairs to review and finalize decisions of the panel.
- Council agreed that the College should ‘strongly recommend’ dentists be vaccinated against COVID-19; and ‘strongly recommend’ dentists institute workplace COVID-19 policies in line with the Directive #6 of the Chief Medical Officer of Health for Ontario. Dentists must continue to follow our guidance, COVID-19: Managing infection risks during in-person dental care
The next meeting of Council will take place as a virtual meeting on November 18, 2021.
Nancy Di Santo
Gildo Santos, Western University
David Mock, University of Toronto