Hon. Ahmed D. Hussen

Hon. Ahmed D. Hussen

Dear Honourable Ahmed D. Hussen,

Allow me to introduce myself; I am the president of Canada’s nurse practitioner association. 

Thank you for your service to refugees and Canadians.

We are reaching out to you, the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, for assistance with a problem nurse practitioners have encountered when providing service to refugees and Canadians. The language in various parts of federal plans for service to refugees and Canadians omits nurse practitioners as recognized providers legislated to provide primary health care. This means many refugees and Canadians are not able to access care in a timely manner. In addition, travel documents omit nurse practitioner authority to sign forms for refugees.

We need the language amended in federal insurance plans and forms to be inclusive and equitable for Canadians who have nurse practitioners as their health care practitioner. Federal insurance plans need to reflect the scope of practice and competencies of nurse practitioners to write prescriptions for medications and medical services, for example physiotherapy or massage therapy, and products such as ostomy supplies and various orthopedic support braces.  Government programs and insurance plans need language amendments that are inclusive of nurse practitioners as regulated and legislated health care providers who have the requisite skills within their scope of practice to provide these services. Travel documents need to accept nurse practitioner signatures. Passports should accept us as guarantors.

A significant amount of resources have been invested in developing and integrating nurse practitioners in the health care system since 1998 with provincial and territorial governments recognizing the scope of practice of the nurse practitioner. Citizens and refugees who have nurse practitioners providing their care should not be subject to less coverage than those who receive care from a physician.

I look forward to a reply. Our association is determined to remove barriers for equitable health care to refugees and Canadians.