The College of Chiropractors of B.C. is prepared to crack down on practitioners who continue to spread false messages of hope to prospective patients.
The licensing body's interim registrar, Richard Simpson, told the Straight by phone that 50 B.C. chiropractors are under investigation and facing possible disciplinary action.
He explained that at the beginning of October, all registrants were informed that their advertising needed to be consistent with an "efficacy claims policy".
This policy declared that in the absence of "acceptable evidence", chiropractors cannot make claims about treating Alzheimer's disease, cancer, diabetes, infections, infertility, and Tourette's syndrome.
In addition, the policy statement emphasized that chiropractors cannot claim that their treatments will have a beneficial impact on attention deficit disorder, autism spectrum disorders, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, fetal alcohol syndrome or development and speech disorders.
While 97 percent of chiropractors are following the rules, the interim registrar confirmed that there are still more than four dozen outliers.
"To be quite honest, my patience is wearing a bit thin," Simpson said. "We've got to make sure public trust in the profession is as high as it possibly can [be]. And that means making sure that every chiropractor is providing accurate advertising for the services they're allowed to provide under the regulations."
CBC journalist Bethany Lindsay has given extensive coverage to this issue recently, and her stories feature images of questionable marketing messages by chiropractors.
Simpson pointed out that chiropractors are regulated under the Health Professions Act.
"They have a scope of practice that they've got to provide services within," he said. "So that's what I expect them to do."
Simpson retired after 40 years in the public service, but became the interim registrar of the college to fill the position of a person on maternity leave. In his last job for the government, Simpson was the registrar for emergency medical assistance.
"I have some experience in knowing what a registrar is supposed to do," he stated.
When asked if he was in contact with the Ministry of Health regarding chiropractors' advertising, Simpson replied that "any good regulator is having conversations with the Ministry of Health."
"The ministry provides for the opportunity for health professions to regulate themselves," he added. "I think it's good practice for us to have good communication with the Ministry of Health."