BCTRA Advocacy Efforts

This has been a busy, eventful year! Your board of directors has been hard at work advocating on your behalf, and we wanted to let you know what we have been up to:

January 2020:

“Modernizing the provincial health profession regulatory framework: A paper for consultation” was released by the Steering Committee on Modernization of Health Professional Regulation in November 2019.

Feedback regarding the “Modernizing the provincial health profession regulatory framework consultation paper”

Submission from B.C. Therapeutic Recreation Association to the Steering Committee on Modernization of Health Professional Regulation, January 2020

Excerpts:

  • B.C.T.R.A. supports the approach to reduce the number of regulatory colleges and to create some “umbrella” colleges.
  • As a health profession that is pursuing regulation, our concern is that this new College will become unwieldly and therefore, its size will become a barrier to regulate new professions such as Therapeutic Recreation.
  • Recommendation: We strongly recommend that the proposed new College of Health and Care Professions be divided into 2 or 3 new colleges. This would result in 6 or 7 regulatory colleges instead of the proposed 5.
  • We fully support the ability of new professions to become regulated.

 

June 2020:

Letter to Minister of Health, copied to Allied Health Workforce Secretariat & Parliamentary Secretary for Seniors

Summary – the letter expressed our concerns about the impact of COVID-19 on older adults in long-term care and assisted living. We explained the recreation therapist’s role and the benefits derived from recreation therapy, in particular, addressing our ability to respond to the urgent needs outlined in the Seniors’ Advocate 2015 and 2016 reports. We went on to share recreation therapists’ concerns about how older adults are managing and the negative health impacts they have, and are still experiencing during this period of time. We communicated recreation therapists’ experiences during the Covid-19 health crisis including: residents are suffering, often there is a lack of recognition of the contributions recreation therapists make to the health and quality of life of residents, there are changes in recreation therapy roles, including new roles for recreation therapists and as a result there are changes in the practice of recreation therapists. All of this speaks to the need to recognize the vital role recreation therapists and their teams have played, and continue to play, in the quality of life and health of older adults in care. Now is the right time to discuss therapeutic recreation and strengthen this sector with institutional and government support as a vital part of older adult health services. BCTRA looks forward to hearing back from the Minister to discuss our contributions and role in older adult health care.

Enclosures & Attachments sent with the letter:

  1. Therapeutic Recreation Improving Health Maximizing Well-Being
  2. The Case for Therapeutic Recreation in Long Term Care
  3.  A Case Story of Henry – Long Term Care
  4. BCTRA – The Case for Therapeutic Recreation in LTC, Assisted Living and Seniors Residences, June 23, 2016 in response to Seniors Advocate reports
  5. Summary of B.C. Seniors Advocate 2015, 2016, 2017-18, 2019 reports re: Recreation Therapy

To view the full letter, click HERE.

 

July 2020:

Letter to Health Sciences Association (HSA)

Summary – the letter expressed our concerns about the role and recognition of recreation therapists in health services, particularly in LTC and Assisted Living. We let them know we would like to collaborate with HSA to advocate for recreation therapy positions and stronger recreation therapy leadership. Recreation therapy as a practice has undergone cuts over the years and continues to be without practice leadership in all but one health authority. This has meant that each recreation therapist is on their own and, as a result, it is typically management who dictates what the recreation therapy service will look like. As front-line practitioners, without recreation therapy practice leadership or access to decision makers, it is very difficult for individual recreation therapists to take time away from their responsibilities to clients/residents to mount a case for the value of recreation therapy or to develop a rationale and arguments against cuts.

We shared the benefits of recreation therapy and its role in addressing urgent concerns identified by the Seniors’ Advocate in her 2015 and 2016 report. We described some statistics and our concern that recreation therapy is missing from some reports documenting the needs for qualified health care providers. We want to discuss ways that BCTRA can help HSA understand and defend recreation therapists’ rights and interests in their workplace and in the broader healthcare system.

Enclosures  & Attachments sent with the letter:

  1. Summary of B.C. Seniors Advocate 2015, 2016, 2017-18, 2019 reports re: Recreation Therapy
  2. Therapeutic Recreation Improving Health Maximizing Well-Being
  3. The Case for Therapeutic Recreation in Long Term Care
  4. A Case Story of Henry – Long Term Care
  5. The Case for Therapeutic Recreation in Mental Health
  6. The Case for Therapeutic Recreation in Rehabilitation

To view the full letter, click HERE.

 

June & July 2020:

BCTRA Survey – Impact of COVID-19 (on TR) in the Older Adult Sector – June 2020

Phase 2 Survey- Advocacy for all BCTRA Members – July 2020

 

August 2020:

Meeting with Allied Health Workforce Secretariat, Ministry of Health

 


On August 27th, 2020 the Steering Committee on Modernization of Health Professional Regulation released their report on recommendations for modernizing the healthcare system in BC by reducing the number of regulatory colleges. You can read the full report HERE.