Accountability: the challenge for medical and nursing regulators.
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Little has been written about how regulatory bodies define and demonstrate accountability. This paper describes a substudy of a research project on accountability in healthcare. The aim was to increase understanding of how regulatory bodies perceive and demonstrate accountability to their stakeholders. Twenty-two semi-structured interviews were conducted with provincial/territorial CEOs from the two largest health professional regulatory bodies in Canada: medicine and nursing. The regulators indicated that accountability was essential to their mandates and provided the foundation for regulatory frameworks. However, they did not offer a common definition of accountability. They agreed that they were accountable to three constituencies: the public, government and their members. Regulators noted that protecting the public and meeting the demands of the government and their members creates tension. They were also concerned about maintaining independence in the regulatory role.
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