May 19, 2023
Why No Money in the Budget for Nurse Practitioners?
During debate in the Legislature, France Gélinas, MPP for Nickel Belt, asked the Minister of Finance why there was very little money in Ontario’s budget to expand access to Nurse Practitioners.
“We all know there are close to two million Ontarians without access to primary care. In my riding it’s thirty thousand people who don’t have access. We also have some under employed nurse practitioners right here, right now who would love to provide care a thousand orphaned patients from Capreol, from Coniston or from South West Aboriginal Health Access centre, but yet there is very little money in the budget to do this.
Why is it that after all of them came and presented to the finance committee for the budget consultations telling us that we need investments in Nurse Practitioner Led Clinics, in Aboriginal Health Access Centres in Community Health Centres. Giving us road maps so that they can hire those nurse practitioners who live in Ontario right now and would love to take on rosters of primary care clients but yet the budget didn’t deliver.” Gélinas question. “What do you have to say to those thousands of Ontarians who know that they could get access to primary care if only your government would be willing to fund Nurse Practitioner Led Clinics, Community Health Centres and Aboriginal Health Access Centres? ”
Although the Minister stated funding for health is increasing by over $15 billion dollars over the next three years only $30 million has been allocated to expand Family Health Teams, Nurse Practitioner-Led Clinics, Community Health Centres, Indigenous Primary Health Care Organizations; less than 0.2% of the budget increase. “This government knows that part of the solution is to funds positions for underemployed Nurse Practitioners who are ready to help alleviate the problems in primary care” Gélinas stated. “It’s beyond disappointing for Ontarians with no access to primary care.”