Improve Access to Health Care in BC
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Currently, over 4.5 million Canadians are without a family physician (BC Family Doctor Shortage, 2016). In British Columbia alone, over 300,000 people are actively looking for a health care provider (Weaver, 2016). A lack of health care providers results in physician appointment wait times of up to 6 days or more, overcrowding of emergency departments, and a growing number of unmet health care needs among Canadians. This leads to the unnecessary pain and suffering of British Columbians.
Nurse Practitioners (NPs) are exactly what BC needs to help reduce the strain on our health care system. NPs are registered nurses with advanced training and education who work in collaboration with physicians. A lack of provincial government support and funding has led to the underutilization of NPs in BC. BC was one of the last provinces to implement NPs, and excluding Quebec, has the worst NP to population ratio. However, when integrated into the health care system, NPs improve wait times, decrease emergency room use, and increase access to health care, which contributes to improved quality of care. The benefits of implementing NPs into the health care system far outweigh the costs.
Let’s not allow our population to suffer any further without appropriate access to health care. Please help us to take action by signing our petition to increase the number of NPs practicing in BC to improve the health and well-being of all British Columbians.
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