Many patients do not have a family doctor. Or they have a family doctor but can’t get access.

So the nurse practitioner is emerging as the go to solution for these patients.

Many patients do not recognize that nurse practitioners can do everything that a family doctor can do:

Diagnose. Treat. Write prescriptions. Order MRIs and refer patients to specialists.

So we applaud this important role of the nurse practitioner as family doctors become more challenging to access.

But here is the rub. Many nurse practitioners do not bill the province. Patients must pay out of pocket for these services.

In fact, nurse practitioners are opening their own offices and inviting patients to enroll as patients.

One NP led clinic with 4 NPs in Ottawa has enrolled ( according to them) 10,000 new patients.

The annual enrollment fee is $400. Then there are time based charges for each service.

Let’s do the math. 10,000 patients pay $400 before the clinic opens. The total is $4,000,000. Is that right?

So we can see that there is an incentive for nurse practitioners to start NP led clinics to provide comprehensive care.

And with 2,000,000 Ontario patients and 6,000,000 Canadian patients without a primary care doctor, there is a vast opportunity for NP led clinics.

We applaud their emerging role in the realm of comprehensive primary care.

Raymond Rupert MD MBA.