Private health care business allowed to operate in Manitoba
A private business where nurse practitioners make house calls and charge fees will be allowed to operate in the province.
"At first blush it's the department’s feelings that it's not outside of the act," said Manitoba Health Minister Kelvin Goertzen.
As CTV News first discovered last week, Timely Care Clinic has four nurse practitioners in the Winnipeg area. They offer a range of services at a cost from stitches to complete physicals.
Goertzen said it appears the company is operating within the boundaries of the Canada Health Act, but he said his department will keep an eye on the new business.
"We have not sent out the nurse practitioner police or anything we'll see how things develop and how things move along,” Goertzen said.
Critics have a different take, arguing at the very least Timely Care Clinic violates the spirit of the federal law.
"By providing a service that isn't fully accessible and universal to all and that requires you to pull out your credit card rather than you're health card to get service,” said NDP critic Matt Wiebe.
Critics also worry private companies like this will drain staff from the public side.
"There is already a shortage of nurse practitioners, and private clinics like these will now poach them from an already stretched thin public system,” said the Manitoba Nurses Union in a statement.
The College of Registered Nurses of Manitoba said the nurse practitioners involved are working within their parameters.
“Everything we’ve seen on the website where they have listed their services and what they’re able to provide is definitely within the scope of a registered nurse, nurse practitioner,” said Katherine Stansfield, Executive Director from the college.