Discussions of quality assurance mechanisms for health professions are increasing in Canada. In their roles of protecting the public from incompetent or unsafe health care, and enhancing the quality of care provided by practitioners, provincial licensing organizations are taking an interest in quality assurance programmes. The paper reports the results from a national survey of five self-regulating health professions (dentistry, medicine, nursing, optometry and pharmacy) in Canada. The study found two types of activities in place--a complaints programme and a routine audit programme. Both programmes use a similar approach to identifying poor performers within a health profession. The paper discusses the results of the study, the advantages and disadvantages of the approach used, and suggests a second approach to quality assurance which could be used in conjunction with current activities.
While the public health benefits of supervised injection facilities (SIFs) have been well documented, there is a lack of research examining the views of injection drug users (IDU) regarding the operation of these facilities. This study used 50 semistructured qualitative interviews to explore IDU perspectives on the design and operation of an SIF in Vancouver, Canada. Although the environment and operation of the SIF are well accepted, long wait times and limited operating hours, as well as regulations that prohibit sharing drugs and assisted injections, pose barriers to using the SIF. Modifying operating procedures and expanding the capacity of the current facility could address these barriers.