Saturday, February 21, 2009

nurse practitioners

Premier McGuinty has announced the creation of 25 nurse practitioner-led health clinics. I am quite excited by this prospect. For more information visit the Ministry Web site.

This initiative is meant to help the orphan patients, those without family physicians - hundreds of thousands in Canada.

Of course, a Google search on this topic demonstrates that while nurses and patients think this a good idea, physicians do not stand up in favour of it. What a surprise. The news has even hit US-news sources.

The first such clinic opened in Sudbury in 2007. I think it a great plan.

I recall, back when I was pregnant with my daughter almost 30 years ago, that OB-GYNs proteste against midwives being given hospital rights. The battle was hard fought, but won. Now, they are finally accepted and have demonstrated that in the case of uncomplicated births, they are a valuable part of the team. These women have proven an incredible part of the pregnancy, birth and breasts-feeding process. My daughter benefitted from such a woman. She visited the mother-daughter pair daily, gave advice, supported her and educated her with practical suggestions for breast feeding and other caregiving ideas.

While the Ontario Medical Association is in favour of Family Health Teams, rather than these NP-headed clinics, I think the proof will be in the performance. With a limited cadre of physicians, we are hard pressed to find teams.

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