Monday, February 23, 2009

Ontario Government To Create 25 Nurse Practitioner-Led Clinics

Toronto, February 23, 2009 - Three new nurse practitioner-led clinics in Belle River, Sault Ste. Marie and Thunder Bay are strengthening family health care for Ontario families.

The three clinics focus on comprehensive primary care services, including chronic disease management and health promotion. They are the first of 25 new clinics that will come into operation by 2011/12. The remaining 22 clinics will begin to move forward in the spring.

Nurse practitioner-led clinics are a team-based approach to front line health care. Nurse practitioners work with other health care professionals, such as family doctors, to provide quality care closer to home.

Ontarians will be connected to nurse practitioner clinics through:

* Health Care Connect, a new program to help people find a family healthcare provider
* Your Health Care Options,a new source that enables Ontarians to make informed decisions aboutwhere to go for minor illnesses or injury

"Nurse practitioners bring unique and valuable skills and expertise to patient care teams across Ontario. By moving forward on 25 new, nurse practitioner-led clinics, we are ensuring that more Ontarians have access to this innovative health care option," said Dalton McGuinty, Premier of Ontario.

"I am excited and proud that we are moving ahead on our next round of nurse practitioner-led clinics. These clinics are helping to provide quality health care closer to home for thousands of Ontarians and are part of our priority to improve access to care for all Ontarians," said David Caplan, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care.

"There is a tremendous need for better access to primary care in these communities and this announcement is the answer thousands of people have been waiting for. We look forward to the opening of these NP-led clinics as soon as possible and to the announcement of the next 22 sites in the spring," said Wendy Fucile, President of the Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario.