It’s Time to Turn Up the Heat!
NPAO is continuing to engage with the Ministry of Health for approval of the legislation to allow NPs to order CT/MRi and Point of Care testing in Ontario. Ontario is one of the only Province’s in Canada that still does not include these in the NP scope of practice. As a result valuable time and energy in our health care system is wasted and wait times for these important procedures are increased. Due to the pandemic there is a significant backlog as many healthcare procedures were put on hold. It is important to activate the abilities of the NPs in helping to navigate these back logs. The Government of Ontario’s most recent budget identified the need to increase the number of CT/MRi performed and pledged to do so. Achievement of this objective is enhanced with the participation of NPs.
This is a very important issue to Nurse Practitioners in Ontario. Even if CT/MRi or POC testing falls outside of your current role, we encourage your participation as it helps to advance the profession.
It is time to ‘Turn up the Heat’ on the Government of Ontario to move on getting this legislation approved. Therefore, we would like to engage Nurse Practitioners in Ontario in an effort to raise awareness of the importance and the need for this legislation with their MPP representatives. If we can touch all of the MPPs across Ontario and encourage them to raise the issue we will get movement on this legislation.
We are asking you to send a letter to your MPP. A template letter has been drafted and we encourage you to add your stories about how the absence of CT/MRi and POC testing has impacted you and your patients. The more personal the letter, the more impact it can have. The greatest impact would be achieved by following up the letter a few days after it has been sent by calling the Constituency office of your MPP.
We are asking you to complete the letter and send it to your MPP representative in your area. You can find your MPP representative and their email addresses here: https://www.ola.org/en/members/current
We would like to have letters sent by October 31, 2021. Let’s “Turn up the Heat” and make this happen!
Constituency Office Address
City, ON Postal Code
Dear (insert MPP’s Name),
My name is (insert your name) and I am a Nurse Practitioner in (Insert city or riding name). I am writing to you today regarding the delayed changes to legislation which would enable NPs to independently order Computerized Axial Tomography, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, and Point of Care Tests (CT/MRI/POCT).
As you are likely aware, 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. This commitment was further iterated in the 2019 Ontario Economic Outlook and Fiscal Review. Additionally, the intent to increase the number of CT/MRi procedures was included in the 2021 Ontario Budget.
In the summer of 2020, the government detailed the proposed amendments to several pieces of legislation that would enable NPs to independently order CTs, MRIs, and POCTs.
Comments on these proposed changes were closed in August 2020. Since then, there has been no movement on passing these legislative changes and NPs and patients continue to have their hands tied by unnecessary red tape. As an NP, I can appreciate the government’s focus on management of the current pandemic and how it has taken the focus away from other tasks. I have also seen how the role of NPs could easily be facilitated to enable improved access to care in a time when access has become a priority as a result of shrinking resources. (OPTIONAL: add personal anecdote on how changes to the legislation will improve care for patients).
The Nurse Practitioners’ Association of Ontario (NPAO), as well as many NPs and stakeholders, responded in support of the proposed legislative changes. Each day this legislation remains in limbo is another day of wasted professional resources and excess healthcare expenditures.
I know that ensuring equitable access to health care services for your constituents is a priority for you as MPP. I ask you to please take the concern outlined above to the appropriate people and departments to right this wrong. Let’s get this legislation passed before the end of 2021!
I look forward to your reply and am available to meet virtually or by phone at your convenience to discuss this issue further.
(sign your name)
(insert your name)
(insert your address)
(insert your City/Town, ON and Postal Code)
(insert your phone number)
(insert your email address)