Gateway Gazette

Nurse Practitioner Association of Alberta Responds to Ernst & Young Report

EDMONTON, AB (February 11, 2020): The Nurse Practitioner Association of Alberta (NPAA) responded to Ernst & Young’s Alberta Health Services Review commissioned by the Government of Alberta suggesting how to reduce costs and promote efficiencies in the Alberta healthcare system. 
The NPAA is interested in seeing how AHS will implement these changes as well as how nurse practitioners will be utilized to meet the cost-saving objectives outlined in the report. Nurse practitioners take the workload off of physicians by conducting comprehensive health assessments, treating and managing chronic illness, ordering and interpreting diagnostic tests, and prescribing some forms of medication. As an integral component of a strong and economically viable healthcare system, we hope that we will be consulted with and used as an appropriate solution to rising healthcare costs. 
We believe that nurse practitioners play a vital role in increasing access to health care in rural communities, and have the potential to make healthcare in these areas more economically viable. Primary health care is the first place people go for healthcare and wellness advice and right now only 7.5% of Alberta Family MDs practice outside of a Metropolitan area. Alberta has a growing need for primary healthcare providers in rural Alberta and nurse practitioners are trained to meet that need. Nurse practitioners were pleased to see the Government of Alberta will not be following through on Ernst & Young’s recommendation to close five rural hospitals.
“The Ernst & Young Report is a laudable first step in driving down costs in Alberta’s health care system. We hope that AHS will work with nurse practitioners to meet these cost-saving objectives and look forward to a mutually beneficial partnership. The utilization of nurse practitioners can increase the quality of patient care, improve access to health care, and contribute to improved fiscal responsibility – all the government needs to do is agree to eliminate some regulatory red tape,” said President of the Nurse Practitioners Association of Alberta, Mary-Elizabeth Cooper.

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