Regulation of PAs in Ontario important step in health modernization

 

Toronto, Ontario, 2021 — Today, in the Ontario Legislature, the Minister of Health, Christine Elliott introduced legislation, that once passed, will mean the start of regulating Ontario Physician Assistants under the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario.  

This important initiative is a giant step forward to modernizing the PA model in the province and will help solidify the important role that PAs are playing in hospitals, emergency departments and in primary care settings. Enhancing the PA model and regulating PAs will improve patient care, encourage more team-based care and allow PAs to work to their full scope of practice.  

Regulation also means that PAs in Ontario will be required to follow standards for competency, safety and ethics like other regulated health professionals in the province.  

CAPA thanks the Government of Ontario for recognizing the importance of the PA profession, making regulation a priority, and for taking this vital step at a critical time when the health care system has been stretched to the limit.   

CAPA looks forward to working with the CPSO and the province to move this important step forward so that we can unlock the full potential of PAs in Ontario.  

PAs are advanced practice clinicians trained in the medical model and practice medicine with a degree of autonomy negotiated with supervising Physicians to provide primary, acute and specialty care in all types of settings. They diagnose illness, develop and manage treatment plans, prescribe medication, perform procedures, act as first assist in surgery, and much more. 

To see the proposed legislation, click here.

About the Canadian Association of Physician Assistants (CAPA)
CAPA is the national voice of physician assistants in Canada. We support quality standards and competencies and help establish the profession within the national health care framework.

Media Relations Contact
Kristy Corrente, Manager, Advocacy and Stakeholder Relations – East Canada

613-864-6713
kcorrente@capa-acam.ca

Opinion: Expanding Physician Assistants in New Brunswick will Make Health Care More Dependable

With the Government of New Brunswick recently pledging to undertake a major consultation process and vowing in a news release from January 27th that All options on table as province looks to future of health care, officials are being urged to increase the use of Physician Assistants (PAs) in the province.

In Fredericton, a handful of PAs are being used in the emergency department at the Dr. Everett Chalmers Regional Hospital to extend a physician’s reach, however, they can be used for so much more.

A PA is an advanced practice clinician who is educated in the medical school model and practices medicine under the supervision of a licensed physician with negotiated autonomy, often within a multidisciplinary health team.

PAs help bridge the health care gap by increasing access to family doctors and improving access to care in rural communities. PAs can also help drive efficiencies by providing crucial support for seniors in long-term care, in surgical suites, as well as cancer centres.

However due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the health and safety of communities are now more pressing than ever before. Yet despite this, the Government of New Brunswick still has an opportunity to improve patient care, save money, and reduce wait times by supporting the increased use of PAs.

During a time when it is critical to deliver quality care more comprehensively and in a timely fashion to keep people out of ERs and the hospital, PAs should absolutely be a part of the solution.

Scaling up the use of PAs by adding them to primary care teams means that many doctors can offer more sameday appointments and reduce the time patients spend in waiting rooms.

With that common sense says that scaling up a proven workforce is a strategic way to make change happen quickly. Using PAs to deliver the best care at the right time is an obvious way to improve the health of New Brunswickers.

Beyond helping improve the quality of patient care, adding PAs also has the potential to save money. A 2016 report from The Conference Board of Canada states that if PAs could relieve more than 30 per cent of physicians’ time in all practice areas, this could represent $620 million in cost savings for the health care system.

Around the world PAs are already alleviating health care systems including in the provinces of Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario, as well as the Canadian Armed Forces. These advanced practice clinicians are changing the face of healthcare in these jurisdictions and it is time to add more PAs in the province of New Brunswick.

About the Author

Ryan Bennett is a practicing Physician Assistant in Fredericton and is the New Brunswick Provincial Director for the Canadian Association of Physician Assistants, which is the national voice of Physician Assistants in Canada, supporting quality standards and competencies and helping to establish the profession within the national health care framework.

Physician Assistants are like adding a top six forward to the hockey team

Insights from Dr. Neil Gibson on working with Physician Assistants.

Dr. Gibson is a clinical professor at the University of Alberta and a General Internist practising critical care at the Sturgeon Community Hospital in St. Albert. Having served 32 years in the Canadian Armed Forces, 25 as a Medical Officer, he has first-hand experience working alongside PAs.

Read the full article

Staffing Update

To better serve your needs and advocate on your behalf – CAPA is growing! Just a little.

We are happy to inform you we have promoted two long-time staff members. Sandra Bourgon has been with CAPA for more than 10 years. We are happy to announce she has been promoted to Director of Operations – CAPA, and Director of Certifications, PACCC. We would also like to congratulate Kristy Corrente, has been promoted to Manager, Advocacy and Stakeholder Relations – East Canada after nine years of service.

Joining the team is Marina Banister located in Edmonton, Alberta, in the role of Manager, Advocacy and Stakeholder Relations – West Canada. Alexis Gunawardena has joined us as our Events and Social Media Coordinator.  Please join us in congratulating Kristy and Sandra on their promotions and welcoming Alexis and Marina to the CAPA team!

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