Despite the Passage of Bill C-14 - Medical Assistance in Dying, Patients of NPs in Ontario Will Still Face Barriers

Saturday, June 18, 2016 General News J E 4

TORONTO, June 17, 2016 /CNW/ - The Nurse Practitioners' Association of Ontario (NPAO) applauds the passage of Bill-C14 (Medical Assistance in Dying). NPAO represents over 2800 Nurse Practitioners (NP) in Ontario who serve millions of people across Ontario.

Once Bill C-14 becomes law, Canadians who are eligible to access medical assistance in dying will be able to receive this assistance from a physician or a Nurse Practitioner.

However, further barriers remain in Ontario that will affect the ability of Nurse Practitioners to provide assistance in dying to their eligible patients in a timely way.

According to Theresa Agnew, Executive Director, NPAO, "NPs in Ontario cannot currently prescribe controlled drugs and substances, drugs more commonly used to assist in the process. All other provinces and territories in Canada have enabled NPs to prescribe these drugs. This is a problem for Ontarians because, not only is this inability to prescribe a barrier to end-of-life care, but also to good palliative care, pain management and to treating other conditions."

In many communities across the province, the primary care provider is an NP, who knows the patient the best and their care needs. People who get their care primarily from an NP will face an unnecessary barrier to getting care.

NPAO strongly urges the Government of Ontario to remove these barriers quickly.

In a recent survey of NPAO members NPs were asked "do you see a need or potential demand for MAID in your practice?" Approximately 58% of respondents said "yes", 28% said "no" and 14% said they need more information. To ensure NPs in Ontario are able to provide the best care possible to their patients, NPAO in partnership with other organizations has put in place educational programs, tool kits, and a mentorship network.

What is an NP?

NPAO is the professional voice for over 2800 Nurse Practitioners in Ontario. Our mission is to achieve full integration of Nurse Practitioners to ensure accessible, high quality health care for all.

NPs provide services to the people of Ontario across the health care system in variety of settings including community clinics, hospitals, long-term care homes and in patients' homes. NPs practice in inter-professional team with a broad range of health care providers. NPs independently diagnose illness and health care conditions, prescribe most drugs, order x-rays and laboratory tests for their patients. NPs can also admit and treat patients in hospitals and long-term care homes.

SOURCE Nurse Practitioners' Association of Ontario



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