Statement: Ministry of Health to initiate discussions for new funding models for NPs in Ontario.
Nurse Practitioners are funded by the Ministry of Health through salary arrangements in either contracted or employment situations. Over the past several years, there have been opportunities for NPs to contribute cost- effective, health care services that fill gaps in the health care system. However, the lack of funding mechanisms available for NPs have realized in missed opportunities for the Ministry of Health. The promise that NPs represent to the health care system and patient care is not being realized. With a wide scope of practice, knowledge and skills, NPs can contribute so much more to elevating health care in Ontario. There has never been a better time to realize that potential.
MAID is a perfect example of where NPs can fill the growing gap between demand and the supply of health care providers. We have seen several instances over the past two years evidencing the gaps that exist. NPAO has called for a province-wide funding mechanism to utilize NPs to fill these gaps.
The British Columbia Ministry of Health has implemented a contractual relationship with independent NPs to provide primary care services, as one example of different mechanisms available. Fee-for-service billing in areas where NPs can contribute to improved health care is another option, as is establishing NPAO as a transfer payment agency to funnel funds for increased NP contributions in specific functions.
A more cost-effective health care system is enabled through additional funding mechanisms for NPs.