Private Manitoba clinic offers nurse practitioner services for sale
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WINNIPEG — A private business where nurse practitioners make house calls and charge fees will be allowed to operate in Manitoba.
Health Minister Kelvin Goertzen says his department's initial assessment is that the business is not outside the Canada Health Act but adds they will keep an eye on things.
He says they "have not sent out the nurse practitioner police or anything" but will monitor how the situation develops.
CTV Winnipeg reports that Timely Care Clinic has four nurse practitioners in the city, offering a range of paid services from stitches to complete physicals.
Critics suggest the clinic violates the spirit of the federal law and that private companies like it will drain staff from the public health system.
NDP health critic Matt Wiebe says the service "isn't fully accessible and universal to all and ... requires you to pull out your credit card rather than your health card to get service."
"There is already a shortage of nurse practitioners, and private clinics like these will now poach them from an already stretched thin public system,” says the Manitoba Nurses Union in a statement.
But the College of Registered Nurses of Manitoba says the nurse practitioners at the clinic are working within legal parameters.
“Everything we’ve seen on the website where they have listed their services and what they’re able to provide is definitely within the scope of a registered nurse, nurse practitioner,” says Katherine Stansfield, executive director of the college.