Ontario’s healthcare system is suffering: the prescription is Nurse Practitioners
TORONTO (November 14, 2022) – Nurse Practitioners are calling for change, and they’re bringing that message to Queen’s Park during Nurse Practitioner Week. The Nurse Practitioners’ Association of Ontario (NPAO) is meeting with Ministers and Members of the Provincial Parliament at Queen’s Park, demanding the Government of Ontario take quick action to ensure access to prompt, quality healthcare in communities across the province.
From November 13 to 19, 2022, we celebrate Nurse Practitioner week across Canada. In Ontario, this week serves as a reminder of the need to better utilize Nurse Practitioners in every corner of the health care system to deliver the care Ontarians desperately need.
“Over 1 million Ontarians are without a primary care provider, and as a result, over 30 per cent of residents are turning to hospital emergency rooms causing unbearable wait times for care that a primary healthcare provider offers,” said Dana Cooper, Executive Director of NPAO. “Primary care is becoming virtually impossible to obtain in Ontario, and the government has the opportunity to involve Nurse Practitioners in primary care settings to alleviate the barriers Ontarians face in receiving healthcare.”
Nurse Practitioners are registered nurses with advanced university education who provide a full range of health care services to individuals, families, and communities. They are trained to provide most of the care and services the average Ontarian requires, including assessing, diagnosing, treating, and monitoring a wide range of health problems. Nurse Practitioners consult and collaborate with other health care professionals to meet patient needs; however, their skillset needs to be better utilized and be permitted to fill the current and future gaps.
NPAO calls on the provincial government to increase the number of Nurse Practitioner-Led Clinics (NPLCs) in the province. In Ontario, we currently have 25 NPLC clinics that use an interdisciplinary care model to provide comprehensive, accessible, person-centred and coordinated primary care services to people of all ages and stages. If the Government of Ontario increased the number of NPLCs permitted in the province, Nurse Practitioners could help fill the current gaps in primary care, including in our rural and remote communities.
“It is very frustrating to witness the barriers to healthcare faced by Ontarians, knowing that Nurse Practitioners can be the solution for so many regions. Unfortunately, the Government of Ontario has not yet leveraged the value of Nurse Practitioners,” said Amanda Rainville, President of NPAO and a Primary Healthcare NP at a Nurse Practitioner-Led Clinic in Capreol. “We make many contributions across the healthcare continuum in all corners of Ontario and, if not for government-imposed limitations, could be doing much more.”
About: The Nurse Practitioners’ Association of Ontario (NPAO) was founded in 1973 to advance the Nurse Practitioner profession across all health care sectors in Ontario. NPAO is the only organization in Ontario exclusively dedicated to serving the needs of the more than 4,400 Nurse Practitioners in Ontario. To learn more, visit: https://npao.org