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Newsletter Article


Ontario Providing Faster Access to Medical Specialist Services

Nurse practitioners in Ontario can now directly refer patients to a specialist and receive the specialist’s advice, without the patient seeing a physician. The goal is helping patients get faster access to the right type of care. Previously, patients who used nurse practitioners as their primary care provider—many of whom live in rural areas—would also have to see a physician if they needed a specialist referral. Ontario amended the Health Insurance Act to change how the specialists receive consultation fees in order to facilitate this transition. Advancing the role of nurse practitioners is part of Ontario’s plan to improve home and community care.

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