OSOMS worked with the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care and the RCDSO on a new regulation under theHealing Arts Radiation Protection Act(HARPA) and on RCDSO by-laws to authorize Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons to prescribe and operate non-dental and craniofacial CT scans. In the case of the latter, Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons must have completed a mentoring program prescribed the RCDSO with a qualified Oral and Maxillofacial Radiologist or qualified medical radiologist. The changes are reflected in Regulation 543 under HARPA and RCDSO bylaws that came into effect in the Spring of 2012.
OSOMS also worked with the RCDSO to confirm that non-therapeutic procedures that are incidental or necessary to therapeuticprocedures conducted within the dentistry scope of practice as described by the Dentistry Act, 1991 are authorized for Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons and are covered by the RCDSO's professional liability insuranceprogram.
OSOMS was recently successful in removing obstacles to OHIP coverage for Panorex images ordered by Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons in public hospitals.
OSOMS is currently working with the RCDSO, the Ministry and with other stakeholders to authorize oral and maxillofacial surgeons to order MRIs and other "forms of energy" within their scope of practice. Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons employed in hospitals may currently order MRIs and may order MRIs for hospital patients, but are not generally able to do so in private practice. Oral and maxillofacial surgeons are authorized to order MRIs in all other Canadian provinces. This situation in Ontario requires oral and maxillofacial surgeons to refer patients to their family physicians --- if they have one ----- to order MRIs, which inconveniences patients, generates unnecessary expenditures for OHIP and delays timely diagnosis and treatment.
OSOMS has been working with Cancer Care Ontario to include oral and maxillofacial surgeons in the core teams for the diagnosis and treatment of cancer within the oral-facial complex. Cancer Care Ontario has acknowledged the importance of oral and maxillofacial surgeons in dental rehabilitation and has undertaken to consult with OSOMS during its review of its recommended guidelines for the diagnosis and treatment of cancer.
OSOMS is also working with the Ministry to authorize oral and maxillofacial surgeons to refer patients directly to specialists, in order to avoid the unnecessary costs, patient inconvenience, delayed diagnosis and treatment caused by circular referrals.