NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT the Alberta Urban Municipalities Association requests the Government of Alberta allocate funding to models of remuneration that support the integration of nurse practitioners within the Alberta healthcare system.
WHEREAS a successful province is based on successful communities;
WHEREAS successful communities are defined by community sustainability, which is directly linked to a municipality’s financial viability and access to essential services, including healthcare, for residents and businesses;
WHEREAS both urban and rural municipalities are increasingly questioning their community sustainability as access to essential healthcare services remains limited;
WHEREAS in March 2015, the Government of Alberta released the Rural Health Services Review Final Report and through the report has identified a growing crisis regarding access to essential healthcare services for Albertans in urban and rural communities;
WHEREAS it is the role of Government is to provide access to essential healthcare services in all communities, for all Albertans;
WHEREAS the Government of Alberta needs to adopt a more inclusive approach to healthcare funding, looking at flexible incentives for providing accessible, continuous, comprehensive, and multidisciplinary team-based primary healthcare that integrates health services in each urban and rural community; and
WHEREAS the Government of Alberta needs to adopt funding models that allow Nurse Practitioners to provide essential healthcare services to all Albertans.
Findings documented in the March 2015 Rural Health Services Review Final Report clearly state that Albertans are struggling to obtain access to essential healthcare services. Feedback provided by Albertans, documented in the report, identified that Albertans support the implementation of Nurse Practitioners as an approach to improving access to essential healthcare services. In Alberta, Nurse practitioners are Master’s and PhD prepared autonomous health professionals who provide essential healthcare services grounded in professional, ethical and legal standards. Nurse practitioners integrate their in-depth knowledge of advanced nursing practice and theory, health management, health promotion, disease/injury prevention, and other relevant biomedical and psychosocial theories to provide comprehensive health services. Nurse practitioners work in collaboration with their clients and other health-care providers in the provision of high-quality patient-centered care. They work with diverse client populations in a variety of contexts and practice settings. They have the knowledge and skills necessary to provide comprehensive health assessment, to diagnose health/ illness conditions, and to treat and manage acute and chronic illness within a holistic model of care. Nurse practitioners order and interpret screening and diagnostic tests, perform procedures and prescribe medications, while integrating the principles of resource allocation and cost-effectiveness, in accordance with federal, provincial and territorial legislation and policy. Nurse practitioners are accountable for their own practice and communicate with clients about health assessment findings and diagnoses, further required testing and referral to other health-care professionals; they are also responsible for client follow-up. Nurse practitioners counsel clients on symptom management, health maintenance, pharmacotherapy, alternative therapies, rehabilitation strategies and other health programs. They have the knowledge to assess population health trends and patterns and to design services that promote healthy living. They provide leadership in the development, implementation and evaluation of strategies to promote health and prevent illness and injury, and they work with inter-professional teams, other health-care providers and sectors and community members. Nurse practitioners collaborate in the development of policy to influence health services and healthy public policy. In 2015, over 140 Master’s prepared Nurse Practitioners will graduate from three Alberta universities. While these highly educated and skilled clinicians are well positioned to meet the healthcare needs of Albertans living in rural and urban areas, there is currently no opportunity for NPs to receive financial reimbursement for their services.