Ottawa, June 22, 2017 — Barb Shellian, president of the Canadian Nurses Association (CNA), issued the following statement today on the passage of Bill C-44, the Budget Implementation Act, 2017, No. 1.
“CNA welcomes the royal assent of Bill C-44, the Budget Implementation Act, 2017, No.1, which removes numerous critical barriers to care for Canadians. By making key changes to the Income Tax Act, Employment Insurance Act and Canada Labour Code, nurse practitioners (NPs) will be able to more fully and autonomously care for patients.
“The amendments explicitly list NPs in this legislation, so NPs are now more able to fulfil their important role as primary care providers to Canadians, particularly those living in rural and remote locations in Canada.
“We were pleased to work closely with the Nurse Practitioners Association of Canada on advocating for these important changes to federal legislation. The changes remove barriers that prevented NPs from working to their full regulated and licensed scope of practice. The result will be less duplication of services, lower health-care costs and fewer barriers to care for millions of patients.
“In addition to amending the Income Tax Act to enable NPs to certify patients for the federal disability tax credit (which took effect on Budget Day, March 22, 2017), Bill C-44 removes barriers for NPs and their patients through amendments to the Employment Insurance Act and Canada Labour Code.
“Today is a victory for Canadians and our health-care system, as these measures will have an immediate impact on access to care for patients whose primary care is delivered by NPs.
“Now that the legislation has received royal assent, we are looking forward to working with the officials at Employment and Social Development Canada to make final changes to the accompanying regulations and forms.”
Today, almost 5,000 nurse practitioners provide care to over three million Canadians. Within their scope of practice, they conduct physical assessments, order and interpret tests, admit and discharge to hospital, and prescribe medication. NPs can also provide medical assistance in dying. They complete advanced practice examinations, and they must be registered with their nursing regulatory body in order to practise. For more information, visit www.cna-aiic.ca/np
The Canadian Nurses Association is the national professional voice representing over 139,000 registered nurses and nurse practitioners in Canada. CNA advances the practice and profession of nursing to improve health outcomes and strengthen Canada’s publicly funded, not-for-profit health system.
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Canadian Nurses Association