Re “Nursing Yukon health care,” April 1, 2011:
In reading this article, I grew concerned that my comments may have left some readers with the impression that Yukon residents might be receiving substandard care because nurse practitioners (NPs) are not yet able to practise.
Nothing, of course, could be farther from the truth.
When it comes to primary care, access is everything. Clients in the communities, for example, are getting wonderful care from registered nurses (RNs) practising in extended roles and providing a wide range of services. Residents can go to a community health clinic at any time, including after hours for emergencies. In some ways, they have better access to primary care than many urban residents.
I hope Yukon citizens will soon have access to inter-professional health teams such as those in other parts of the country. This new model of care sees physicians, nurses, dieticians, physiotherapists, mental-health workers and other health professionals working collaboratively to deliver care. With the power to write prescriptions, admit patients to hospital and refer them to specialists, nurse practitioners help complete the primary-care picture.
The Yukon government has said that it plans to implement a comprehensive health-care strategy, with measurable targets and objectives, enhanced tracking of health data and a robust human resource plan. This is excellent news.
Taking a holistic approach to health system reform is the next positive step in delivering more value for each health dollar spent.
Judith Shamian, president
Canadian Nurses Association