Statement: NPAO CALLS ON THE MINISTER OF HEALTH TO IMMEDIATELY APPROVE THE REGULATION CHANGES REQUIRED TO ADD CT/MRI ORDERS AND POC TESTING TO THE NP SCOPE OF PRACTICE
Ontario is the only Province in Canada where ordering CT/MRI procedures is still not within the Nurse Practitioner scope of practice. The need for this legislation has been going on for years and the process continues to drag on despite the public input process being completed in August 2020. As part of the Ontario 2019 budget, the government announced that it will enable regulated health professionals to use their education and training more effectively by expanding the scope of practice for certain regulated health professionals, including NPs.
The COVID-19 pandemic has placed considerable stresses on Ontario’s healthcare system. Enabling NPs to order CT/MRi or provide POC testing will ease the strains while maintaining the deliver of healthcare. Patients are already apprehensive about visiting clinics. It is a substantial inconvenience to patients and physicians who must find the time to sign-off on a CT/MRi or POC testing order for an NP, who is perfectly capable of making those decisions and who are often the most responsible provider to the patients. It is a significant barrier for NPs to effectively do their jobs and a waste of valuable healthcare resources at a time when we need improved efficiencies.
Eliminating the above scope of practice limitations should be a high priority for the Government of Ontario and will have an immediate impact on healthcare efficiencies.
The Government of Ontario needs to amend Regulations 543,107/96, 682 and 683 to allow Nurse Practitioners to order these tests.