The medical assistant and nursing assistant programs will receive an upgrade as part of a contract announced Tuesday by the Ontario government.
The Ontario government announced that the Medical Assistants’ Association of Canada will be offering a master’s degree program starting in 2018, and will be the sole provider of a bachelor’s degree in medicine and nursing in Ontario by 2022.
“The Government is committed to making sure that our medical assistants receive the best possible care,” Health Minister Deb Matthews said in a news release.
“We will continue to provide our current medical assistants with the highest quality of care.”
Under the new contract, the MMCA will have a 24-hour emergency response team, which includes paramedics, paramedics, ambulance and emergency medical technicians, first responder supervisors, medical assistants and senior physicians.
It will also have the ability to purchase and operate ambulances, and be responsible for paying for any travel costs, said Dr. Karen Tulloch, MMCA’s president and CEO.
The MMCA also will be able to purchase ambulances.
The new contract also allows for the MMAC to establish a provincial office and provide a contract for the purchase of ambulances in the province.
The MMCA currently has contracts in the Greater Toronto Area, Ottawa, Quebec and Ontario.
The deal includes a new $200,000 annual cap for each MMAC contract, which will allow the MMA to provide care to more patients, Matthews said.
The cap is expected to be phased in over three years, but will be phased out in 2024.
The government is also making a commitment to providing medical assistants training in Ontario.
It also will allow MMACs to have a contract with a private insurer, which means that MMAC employees will not have to have insurance and will not be required to pay premiums.
The contract will pay for the training of new medical assistant students starting in the fall of 2019, according to the MMAA.
It also includes new medical assistance for those who are not currently receiving the equivalent of a master of science in nursing.
“We are proud to announce the first-ever expansion of MMAC training in our province, as part and parcel of the Government of Ontario’s commitment to provide quality health care to our most vulnerable,” Tullich said.
The new contract will be announced in the coming weeks.