Madam Speaker, here is another reason why the federal government is off base.
Several provinces decided to give more authority to other health professionals such as pharmacists and nurses, for example. Recently, thanks to the efforts of the Ordre des infirmières et des infirmiers du Québec, graduate nurses won the right to write prescriptions for such items as contraceptives and prenatal vitamins. However, clients under federal jurisdiction, such as first nations, cannot be reimbursed for these medications unless they are prescribed by a doctor.
Once again, patients are required to pay for these medications out of pocket because the wrong professional prescribed them, and that professional is more expensive. There are problems with the fact that the system is free, and the federal government lags behind when it comes to making it fully accessible to patients.
We must protect our public health care system. However, that requires a certain degree of autonomy. We have to understand the incredible work done by the provinces to expand the scope of practice of other professionals. Unfortunately, the federal government lags behind by several years in many cases.