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Hospital privileges expand

THE provincial government introduced legislation Friday 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 allow them to diagnose illnesses, treat conditions, prescribe medications and order diagnostic tests. There are more than 100 in Manitoba hospitals, clinics and personal-care homes. Midwives already can 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.

MLLC cash to help addicts

THE Selinger government says it will introduce legislation to ensure two per cent of the new Manitoba Liquor and Lotteries Corp.'s annual profits is invested in responsible gaming and consumption programs.

The commitment would increase existing funding for such programs by about $20 million during the next four years, Healthy Living Minister Jim Rondeau said.

New funding of almost $1 million will go to the Addictions Foundation of Manitoba to operate a new centre that will open in 2014. Bus-service rules updated

THE government introduced a bill Friday to modernize rules governing charter-bus services in light of cutbacks in the number of routes Greyhound runs.

Bill 27 will provide more opportunities for new charter-bus operators to launch routes, which means greater access to bus services for Manitobans, Infrastructure and Transportation Minister Steve Ashton said.

Ashton said a number of charter-bus operators have indicated they wish to provide service between various Manitoba towns and cities.

-- staff

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition April 27, 2013 A12

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