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Province to give midwives, nurse practitioners hospital-admission privileges

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The government introduced legislation today that would expand the role of nurse practitioners and midwives by allowing them to admit patients to hospitals.

Health Minister Theresa Oswald said the intention is to take advantage of these professionals’ "high level of training and skills" to streamline hospital admissions and make the health system more efficient.

Nurse practitioners are registered nurses with a master’s level education and clinical experience that allows them to diagnose illnesses, treat conditions, prescribe medications and order diagnostic tests. More than 100 of them are working in Manitoba hospitals, clinics and personal care homes.

Midwives can already order tests, prescribe some medications, diagnose and treat minor problems and be the primary attendant at births.

Currently, only doctors and, in some cases, dentists can admit patients to hospitals in Manitoba.

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