Nurses prescribing drugs a good idea

Good news of any kind, regarding healthcare in Canada, has been as scarce as respect for the environment within the Conservative government.

Midwives, nurse practitioners and podiatrists may be able to prescribe medications classified as controlled substances as early as this fall, something currently only done by medical doctors, dentists and veterinarians.

The proposed changes to the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, announced in a Health Canada press release May 13, are aimed at improving flexibility and giving patients faster access to certain medications.

It’s an idea whose time has come.

Positive changes, or good news of any kind, regarding healthcare in Canada has been as scarce as respect for the environment within the Conservative government in the last few years.

Newspapers across this country are filled with letters to the editor almost weekly, blasting long wait-times and “hallway medicine.”

Anything that can be done to streamline patients getting what they need, when they need it, needs to be up for discussion.

While there’s just one midwife listed in Smithers on the Midwives Association of British Columbia website and just one podiatrist from Terrace listed in the yellow pages as serving our area, it is through the services of nurse practicers most Bulkley Valley residents may notice a change in their healthcare services.

Nurse practitioners already offer a significant level of independent healthcare in B.C.

Providing more healthcare professionals with additional tools will benefit those on the receiving end, the patients.

Like medical doctors, nurse practioners, midwives and podiatrists, will have to meet the same strict requirements regarding record-keeping, security and the reporting of any loss or theft of controlled substances.

These proposed changes should not be a source of political controversy.

The College of Registered Nurses of British Columbia and the BC Nurse Practitioners Association have already voiced their support for the plan.

As it stands, our aging population is going to need all the trained medical professionals the system can provide.

One can only hope the legislation isn’t tacked onto some massive omnibus bill that generates backlash from the public and official opposition.

– Marvin Beatty/Interior News

 

 

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