Respiratory therapists will be able to provide better patient care thanks to new legislation introduced today, March 20, by Health Minister Chris d’Entremont. “We are pleased to support an act that will provide Nova Scotians with high quality respiratory care,” said Mr. D’Entremont. “The Department of Health is able to introduce legislation because of the collaborative effort and hard work of the Respiratory Therapists Society of Nova Scotia.” Respiratory therapists are health-care providers who assist in the diagnosis, treatment and health promotion of patients with cardiorespiratory disorders. They perform respiratory assessments of patients, test and monitor cardiopulmonary function and assist with the transport of high-risk patients. They are also involved in the maintenance, repair, testing and evaluation of respiratory equipment. The legislation will regulate the practice of respiratory therapy by ensuring that practice standards are established and maintained. The act will also establish a complaints and discipline process to enforce the standards and requirements and deal with concerns from the public. Most respiratory therapists are members of the Respiratory Therapists Society of Nova Scotia which is a volunteer organization. The society has been working with the Department of Health to introduce legislation. “This act will ensure our profession is current and in line with other self-regulating health professions,” said Phil Richardson from the Respiratory Therapists Society of Nova Scotia. There are about 200 respiratory therapists in Nova Scotia. More than 70 per cent of respiratory therapists work in hospitals across the province.