November 14, 2022
Why are we ignoring Nurse Practitioners?
France Gélinas MPP for Nickel Belt and NDP Health Critic rose in the legislature this morning to draw the attention of the Ford government to the important work that is done and can be done by Ontario’s Nurse Practitioners.
“I rise today to speak to the important work Nurse Practitioners do serving patients in every corner of this province and why we need this government to fund more NP positions. At a time when many family physicians are retiring, patients across Ontario lose access to primary care leaving them dependant on walk in clinics or emergency rooms. Meanwhile Aboriginal Health access centres, Community Health centres and Nurse practitioner led clinics all have NP they could hire but the government will not fund them. These Nurse Practitioners can assess, treat or advise patients with complex medical conditions who otherwise end up in our overcrowded emergency rooms.
Unfortunately, this government refuses to modernize their antiquated funding models so NP can be hired to provide their excellent services to more patients. For example, the executive director of a nurse practitioner clinic, usually a nurse practitioner themselves; is required to have 800 patients on their individual roster, while still being responsible for administrative duties required to run a medical facility. In fact, these funding models are so rigid that the government claims they are still working on the paperwork to provide nurse working in these clinics with the retention bonuses that was promised 9 months ago.
If this government really wants to improve access to health services to thousands of people in Ontario a small investment in Nurse practitioners’ positions will pay off in every sector of our health care system.”
During this morning’s meeting of the Social Policy Committee at the legislature it was noted Nurse Practitioner led clinics have not received a base budget increase in 12 years.