The Hospital Act and ministerial approval of bylaw changes

As of March 29, 2017, the Hospital Act now sets out more than 50 societies designated “hospital societies” who may not change their constitution or bylaws without ministerial approval, and must provide an affidavit they have complied with the terms of the Hospital Act over the course of their last fiscal year.

The Minister of Health, Terry Lake, signed ministerial order 152 amending the Hospital Act to state that newly designated “hospital societies” must not, without prior ministerial approval:

  • alter the society’s constitution or bylaws;
  • enter into an agreement to amalgamate with one or more other corporations;
  • sell, lease or otherwise dispose of all or substantially all of the society’s undertaking; and
  • dissolve, liquidate, arrange, restore, or otherwise wind-up a society.

Each “hospital society” must now, within 60 days after the end of its fiscal year, provide an affidavit in the form prescribed by the Minister sworn by one or more of the directors stating whether the hospital society has complied with the above prohibitions.

There is also a new prohibition on the formation of “hospital purpose societies” without ministerial pre-approval. A “hospital purpose society” is any society that has, as its purposes, the owning, managing, or operating of a premises for the purposes of reception and treatment of persons suffering from the acute phase of illness or disability, convalescing from or being rehabilitated after acute illness or injury, or requiring extended care at a higher level than that generally provided in a private hospital. No timeline is set out in the Hospital Act for such ministerial approval.

A full list of the hospital societies, the form of the affidavit, and the 60 day requirement is set out in the Ministerial Order 152/2017 available from BC Laws.

Image courtesy of Elvind Lindseth, via a Creative Commons license. No alterations were made to this image.


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