Nurse Practitioners to Refer Patients Directly To Specialists
The government is helping patients get faster access to the right care by removing barriers for nurse practitioners to directly refer their patients to medical specialist services, and to directly receive the specialist’s advice.
Ontario is amending the Health Insurance Act and changing the way specialists receive consultation fees to:
Remove barriers for patients to receive medical specialist services
Ensure patients in rural Ontario are not travelling unnecessarily to get physician referrals that could otherwise be provided by a nurse practitioner closer to home
Allow nurse practitioners to use their training to better meet patient needs
Support the delivery of collaborative, team-based care that puts patients first
Strengthen continuity of care by allowing specialists to provide advice directly back to the referring nurse practitioner.
Previously, patients with a nurse practitioner as their primary care provider had to also see a physician in order to be referred to a specialist. Now, the nurse practitioner can refer directly to the medical specialist services, which will enable nurse practitioners to provide a service that they already have the training to perform.
Nurse practitioners play a crucial part in providing patients with faster access to the right care. Supporting nurse practitioners in Ontario is part of the government’s plan to build a better Ontario through its Patients First: Action Plan for Health Care, providing patients with faster access to the right care, better home and community care, the information they need to live healthy and a health care system that’s sustainable for generations to come.
View the webcast below: