Competition Bureau encourages regulators to support innovation in the health care sector

News Release

Current regulations regarding nurse practitioners may restrict innovative business models

March 7, 2017 – OTTAWA, ON – Competition Bureau

In its latest issue of the Competition Advocate, the Bureau calls on regulators to question whether policies that restrict nurse practitioners from operating independently are the best way to achieve health policy goals, or whether changes should be made to reduce barriers to an innovative business model.

Permitting and enabling independent nurse practitioners to provide health care services could potentially reduce wait times, improve patients’ access to health care, increase consumer choice and make Canada’s health care dollars stretch further.

Independent nurse practitioners represent a new health care business model in Canada, and can offer an alternative option for some health services. Since some provinces are currently considering how best to incorporate nurse practitioners into their health care frameworks, it is important that the issue of choice and innovation be part of that discussion.

Quick Facts

  • Nurse practitioners are registered nurses with advanced education and training that allows them to provide a broader scope of health care services (e.g., diagnosing and treating many common illnesses, and prescribing certain medication).

  • Independent nurse practitioners' services can be particularly important for Canadians living in areas where there are not enough doctors to meet the community's needs.

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