PROFESSIONAL REGULATION OF MEDICAL PHYSICISTS IN ALBERTA
AMPA is actively pursuing the regulation of its profession with the province of Alberta. AMPA believes that this goal will further our association’s objective of supporting and maintaining quality patient care in the application of physics to medicine.
AMPA believes that professional regulation of Medical Physicists within the province will be a benefit to Albertans in the following ways:
- Professional regulation will provide accountability and oversight of Medical Physicists practicing in Alberta by a college of peers, and ultimately to government, and provides a means of dealing with cases of unsafe practice should they arise.
- An expected benefit of regulation will be a reduction of risk that an under-qualified person would be tasked with providing physics services that impact patient care – only those with suitable qualifications as issued by the national accrediting body and/or recognized by our provincial college would be permitted to provide medical physics services within the province of Alberta. This provides a guarantee of high standards regardless of employer – whether hired by a government sanctioned health authority or a company in the private health sector, the Medical Physicist must at least meet the same standard of qualifications and knowledge in the field, and will be held to the same professional and ethical standards.
- Regulation of the profession ensures maintenance of competency and skills by all those currently practicing Medical Physics in the province. This not only ensures maintenance of advanced technical knowledge for current clinical practices (technology in medical physics changes at a rapid pace), but also ensures continued competence for providing accurate and relevant information during consults to health-care teams and patients, and for ethical handling of data as custodians of patient information. Maintenance of skills provides more than just a safe clinical environment, it also paves the way for establishing new techniques and treatments for the betterment of Alberta patients.
- Professional regulation ensure practicing members provide recognized technical expertise and judgement. This will streamline the utilization of complex technology, including medical imaging systems, therapeutic radiation emitting devices, and radiotherapy treatment techniques, improving efficiency in systems related to radiation therapy, medical imaging, and nuclear medicine.
AMPA has submitted an application to the Ministry of Health, jointly with the Alberta Association of Clinical Laboratory Scientists (AACLDS) to be regulated under the umbrella of the CPSA. We are currently looking forward to the Ministry’s decision on the matter.