A healthcare solution? Growing calls to open more nurse practitioner-led clinics in Windsor-Essex

As Ontario continues to face an overburdened healthcare system, calls are growing to open more nurse practitioner-led clinics in Windsor-Essex.

“Nurse practitioners have an expanded scope of practice,” explained Julia Jacobs, operation manager of Essex County Nurse Practitioner Led Clinic (ECNPLC).

“Like physicians, they’re able to prescribe medications, order bloodwork, diagnostic imaging, do physical assessments and provide chronic disease management.”

Jacobs believes taking advantage of the skills of nurse practitioners will help bridge the gaps in the delivery of primary care.

“Nurse practitioner-led clinics are a great answer to reduce hallway medicine,” she said. “It prevents patients from going to walk-in clinics and emergencies for care.”

ECNPLC operates three locations in Windsor-Essex. Its Amherstburg location is currently accepting new patients.

Additional details can be found on the ECNPLC website.

Kingsville councilor Kimberly DeYong met with the Ministry of Health on Monday to request funding to open a local nurse practitioner-led clinic but was denied.

“Amherstburg has nurse practitioner funding and because Amherstburg isn’t at capacity with their nurse practitioner, they (the Ministry of Health) don’t see our region as needing more funding,” DeYong explained.

“We need care where residents live.”

DeYong is concerned with Kingsville’s population of seasonal migrant farm workers who may be lacking access to medical care and the upcoming retirement of numerous family doctors with large patient rosters.

“We have to be proactive before this becomes an even greater crisis,” she said.

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