The following letter was sent to Minister Haggie on March 25, 2020. 

Dear Minister,

Last week, the province announced Newfoundlanders and Labradorians can now visit their doctor via telephone or real-time video conferencing.

This was welcome news. Virtual care is an effective way to improve access to health care, while helping to prevent the spread of the virus by:

  • reducing unnecessary patient travel;
  • reducing unnecessary patient presentations to health facilities, and;
  • enabling heath professionals to continue providing patient service while protecting themselves, thier colleagues and families from potential viral exposure.

Nurse practitioners play an integral role in delivering health care throughout Newfoundland and Labrador. We urgently request that you support NPs to adopt virtual care in the same manner as physicians.

While some NPs have made this switch on their own, a number of NPs have indicated that despite their own interest in moving to this model, they are not receiving support from their employers or being advised against it.

We applaud RHAs for taking measures to support employees to work from home. We ask that they also support NPs working throughout our province to adopt virtual care and provide the necessary technology and support.

In Solidarity,

Debbie

President

Registered Nurses’ Union