Bonnyville will be receiving help from the province in recruiting nurses to the Primary Care Network.
The Government of Alberta announced yesterday that Bonnyville is among the health care networks that the province is investing $3 million to recruit up to 30 new nurse practitioners.
The investment hopes to connect more patients who don’t have a family doctor or have difficulty accessing them.
“We’re delivering on our campaign commitment to add more nurse practitioners, to give people in underserved communities more access to primary care and other health services,” said Tyler Shandro, Minister of Health in a press release.
“Nurse practitioners are valuable, skilled health-care professionals, and we look forward to working with them to strengthen our publicly funded health system.”
The province chose the Bonnyville Primary Care Network as one of the five selections where 600 patients are currently on a wait-list for a doctor, they said.
In May, the Town reached out to bring back MacEwan University’s Nursing Program to the area at the request of Covenant Health in hopes of recruiting more nurses.
As experienced registered nurses with advanced education, the nurse practitioners see and diagnose patients in the community, and can provide annual checkups, order tests and prescribe medications.
They will work with patients from underserved populations, increasing access to care for Indigenous people, adolescents with mental health needs and for people with chronic conditions, such as diabetes or cardiac disease, the province said in a press release.
“Given the recent findings of the MacKinnon report, the Nurse Practitioner Association of Alberta looks forward to continuing to work on innovative and cost-effective models of health-care delivery with the government,” said Anne Summach, upcoming vice-president, Nurse Practitioner Association of Alberta.
“As a nurse practitioner, I am pleased to see the expansion of nurse practitioner roles within Primary Care Networks – roles which allow nurse practitioners to work to their fullest potential with each member working to their unique scope. This announcement also allows Albertans to select the best primary care provider to meet their health needs.”
The other networks receiving help are the Aspen Primary Care Network in northern Alberta, Bow Valley Primary Care Network, Edmonton Southside Primary Care Network and Sherwood Park-Strathcona County Primary Care Network.
More to follow.