Increasing Access to Primary Care through Nurse Practitioner-led Clinics
February 3, 2011
In a province as progressive as Ontario, the fact remains that in 2010, 7.1 per cent of Ontarians still did not have a nurse practitioner, family physician or other primary care provider. Nurse Practitioners (NPs) in community, long-term care and hospital settings have demonstrated the knowledge, skills and competencies to supplement and complement other roles and improve access to vital health services. However, many NPs in Ontario are not being fully utilized and are not able to practice to their full scope.
Nurse Practitioner-led clinics in Ontario, such as the Sudbury District Nurse Practitioner Clinic, have resulted in improved access to primary care and quality of life for hundreds of patients and their families. Following the success of the Sudbury clinic after its opening in 2007, the government committed to twenty-five additional NP-led clinics across the province. These have been announced in three successive waves and some have already opened (see Appendix for the current status of all 26 NP-led clinics). It is crucial that the newly-announced NP-led clinics be up and running as soon as possible, and definitely by the end of 2011.
Dozens of other communities are just waiting for the green light to move forward with their own NP-led clinics. Opening an additional 50 nurse practitioner-led clinics by 2015 is an essential, practical and cost-effective way to give thousands of Ontarians needed access to primary care.
QUESTION: Can we count on your Party’s support to establish 50 additional nurse practitioner-led clinics by 2015 (in addition to the 26 we will already have by the end of 2011), in order to enhance access to primary care in all communities?