Quebec shuts down government websites over cyber-security threat: weekly regulatory news

Quebec shuts down nearly 4,000 websites over a newly discovered exploit, Michigan and Wisconsin push to relax licensure requirements, and more in this week’s look at regulatory news.

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The Week in Brief is Thentia’s weekly snapshot of regulatory news and what’s happening in the world of professional licensing, government technology, and public policy.

Quebec government shuts down websites as a “preventive” measure

Digital Transformation Minister Eric Caire announced Sunday that the province of Quebec would be shutting down nearly 4,000 government websites in response to the discovery of a vulnerability in the open-source Apache Log4j package used by many websites and services. Because the government does not keep an inventory of which websites use the package, cyber-security teams will have to comb through each site and look for the vulnerability. Caire said there was no current indication that the province had been targeted by a successful attack, adding that this was a preventive act—not a reactive one. Read more at the Montreal Gazette.

New law should mean fewer delays in getting license to work in Wisconsin

Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers signed into law a new plan to expedite occupational licensing in the state. The law, which received widespread support on both sides of the state’s legislature, allows the Department of Safety and Professional Services to decide on any of the state’s 280 professional licenses. Previously, licensees had to wait on decisions from specific licensing boards. Read more about the new law here.

MHA and members testify in support of licensure exemption bill

Members of Michigan’s House Health Policy Committee have been hearing testimony regarding Senate Bill (SB) 759, which makes into law a flexibility granted by the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs during the COVID-19 pandemic. The department in March 2020 had acted on its statutory authority to allow licensure exemptions in times of emergency. This exemption allows medical care providers in good standing from out of state to offer their services in Michigan, without a Michigan license. Read more about the bill here.

Mandatory e-prescribing enforcement delayed until 2023

Because of a decision from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid (CMS) to postpone enforcement of Medicare’s new e-prescribing mandate, Michigan prescribers will now have until 2023 to comply with the rule. While there are many exceptions to the mandate, as in cases where electronic transmission would create impracticalities for the patient, the rule basically requires all prescribers to transmit prescriptions digitally. The rules for the mandate are expected to be finalized by the end of 2021. Read more at the Michigan State Medical Society website.

Fake nurse with long history of impersonation arrested and charged in B.C.

Brigitte Cleroux, 49, used the name of a real nurse to gain employment at B.C. Women’s Hospital in Vancouver, where she worked for a year. Cleroux has a 30-year record of impersonating professionals in multiple provinces. Last summer, she was charged in Ottawa, Ontario after impersonating a nurse at a medical and dental clinic. As the investigation continues, former patients are wondering how Cleroux – whose many aliases were flagged by both the B.C. College of Nurses and Midwives and the College of Nurses of Ontario – wasn’t stopped sooner. Hear the full story from CBC.

Australia launches apprenticeship grants to help rebuild disaster-hit communities

West Australia’s Construction Training Fund (CTF) will launch a new $3.5 million program designed to help communities affected by the Wooroloo bushfire and Cyclone Seroja. The Disaster Recovery Construction Training Grant will provide extra support to employers, apprentices, and trainees who help to rebuild the communities. Read more from the Government of Western Australia.

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