Utilization of primary health care nurse practitioners in rural northern communities to alleviate the physician shortages and retention issues
Fairservice, Susan Karen
Master of Public Health
SubjectNurse practicioners Ontario, Northern
Nurses Supply and demand Ontario, Northern
Physicians Supply and demand Ontario, Northern
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The purpose of this research project is to critically examine primary health care services and analyze alternative solutions to the physician recruitment and retention issue in rural, northern, and remote communities in Ontario. Primary health care nurse practitioners, (PHCNPs) are a safe, cost-effective solution to alleviate this dilemma in these communities. The needs assessment, conceptual framework and literature review demonstrated that populations living in rural, northern and remote communities have decreased access to Health Care Providers, show that PHCNPs are a cost-effective and safe alternative to physicians, and demonstrate that recruiting nurses from rural and remote communities to become PHCNPs is beneficial to the communities. The Population Health Model validated that the health care needs of individuals in rural, northern and remote communities are not being met To alleviate the physician shortage and retention issue in Ontario and particularly rural, northern and remote communities in Ontario the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care (MOHLTC) could: Provide funding to Registered Nurses in northern, rural and remote communities to become PHCNPs. Increase the number of PHCNP run clinics. Continue to support and increase the number of Family Health Teams in Ontario.