Nurse Practitioners' Association of Ontario (NPAO) issues key recommendations during inaugural NP Week

Tuesday, November 14, 2017 General News
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TORONTO, Nov. 14, 2017 /CNW/ - Fifty Nurse Practitioner members of NPAO will visit Queen's Park on November

16, 2017 as part of the inaugural celebration of Nurse Practitioner Week. Last year during Queen's Park Day, France Gélinas, MPP for Nickel Belt and the NDP Health Critic, introduced a Private Members' Bill to proclaim the second full week in
November as Nurse Practitioner Week – the Bill was supported unanimously by all parties and the Nurse Practitioner Week Act was proclaimed December 8, 2016.  We celebrate this week with our NP colleagues across Canada and the USA!

"Every day Nurse Practitioners go to work and provide high quality health care to millions of Ontarians, NPs provide care for clients in all practice setting with a key focus on the social determinants of health, we give a voice and advocate for those who are most marginalized.  We are proud of our contributions and it feels good to have the Ministry reciprocate this by formally recognizing NP Week," states Hoda Mankal NP and NPAO Director of Communications.

Ontario NPs and the clients they serve have much to celebrate! This year NPs have had further expansions to their scope of practice such as authority to prescribe controlled drugs and substances, enhanced patient access to medications when ordered by NPs through Exceptional Access Program, and participate in and provide medical assistance in dying to eligible patients.  

"Our members are delighted about these changes, but we have since the passage of Bill 179 back in 2009 awaited many more that will allow NPs to provide more expeditious care to patients. Examples include the removal of barriers to other diagnostic tests and procedures like ordering CT scans, MRIs, certain ultrasounds, defibrillation and point of care testing.  It's alarming to know that currently an NP cannot dip urine for pregnancy or perform glucometer testing to check a blood sugar level.  Our members look forward to the day when funding models recognize NPs as an effective and efficient part of the healthcare landscape in Ontario in a more fulsome way," states NPAO President, Marnee Wilson.

At Queen's Park Day we are asking MPPs to commit to removing these remaining barriers and to developing a health human resource planning that is patient-centred, cost effective and based on quality outcomes and best fit.  We are asking MPPs to expand access to Nurse Practitioner Led Clinics, and to increase NPs in Long Term Care, Palliative and End of Life Care, Addictions and Mental Health services.  We are also asking MPPs to commit to a pharmacare program but also better access to physical therapy and mental health services. 

We look forward to discussing these important issues with MPPs impacting patient care in Ontario.

"We look forward to seeing the Wynne government provide more funding for NPLCs so that other communities can experience this innovative model of primary care," states interm CEO of NPAO, Dr. Dawn Tymianski.

More than 3100 Nurse Practitioners in Ontario serve patients across a variety of settings including primary care, hospitals, and long term care. Currently more than 4 million Ontarians receive care from a Nurse Practitioner but many more could benefit from this expertise.  Studies show that Nurse Practitioner Led Clinics (NPLCs) now provide efficacious, cost-effective care to more than 60,000 previously orphaned Ontarians.  Nurse Practitioners will continue to put their patients first!

SOURCE Nurse Practitioners' Association of Ontario



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