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B.C. nurse practitioners to benefit from health ministry’s $137M integrated care initiative

British Columbia’s nurse practitioners and health minister agree


Shannon Moneo
Victoria — Published Globe and Mail on Monday, Jul. 05, 2010 1:17PM EDT

British Columbia’s nurse practitioners and health minister agree: So far, the health-care professionals are not playing a large enough role in the health-care system.
Of the province’s 190 nurse practitioners, only 100 are working in their field. Each day, 10 NPs from the Lower Mainland travel to Washington State to work, according to Lynn Guengerich, president of the B.C. Nurse Practitioner Association.
Meanwhile, an estimated 250,000 B.C. residents don't have a family doctor.
Health Minister Kevin Falcon intends to fix that. He is overseeing the launch of a $137-million program to provide integrated care and a family doctor for every B.C. resident who wants one.
Mr. Falcon says nurse practitioners have not been used as intended since the position was introduced in 2005. “To be honest, I don't think we did a very good job incorporating them into the health-care system,” he said.
But he insists NPs will become an integral part of doctors' practices. “I want to make sure doctors embrace nurse practitioners,” he said.


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