Picture of Queen's Park
COU Statement: Expanding Health-Care Programs
February 2, 2023

TORONTO, February 2, 2023 – “Ontario’s universities applaud the Ontario government’s critical investments in university health-care programs and training opportunities, including for registered nurses, nurse practitioners and physician assistants.

Expanding nursing positions by 1,500 will help ensure the delivery of effective care in a range of health-care settings across Ontario.

In addition, the increase of 150 education seats for nurse practitioners starting in 2023-24 is critical to providing access to high-quality care in communities throughout our province.

Nurse practitioners are a vital component in providing access to essential and high-quality health care in long-term care, rural, remote and Northern communities, as well as Francophone, Indigenous and vulnerable urban populations.

The additional fifty-two new educational seats for physician assistants, while including them as a regulated health profession, will help ensure these highly trained professionals can continue to support physicians, nurses and health-care teams – reducing wait times and improving access to care.

The increase in positions announced today is an important step towards building on the province’s talent and ensuring the health-care system has the highly skilled workforce it needs across Ontario’s regions.

Ontario’s universities will continue to work with government and key health-care stakeholders to fuel a strong health human resources pipeline that covers the broad spectrum of health and health-care delivery, including doctors, nurses, allied health professionals and more.

By working together and taking immediate action, we can educate health professionals who will provide the vital services that Ontarians deserve and help rebuild our health-care system.”

– Steve Orsini, President and CEO, Council of Ontario Universities