AOM advocates for prescribing to scope of practice

March 19, 2024

The AOM has joined a coalition of Ontario health professions, including nurse practitioners, pharmacists, naturopaths, chiropodists and optometrists, advocating for providers to prescribe to their scope of practice. The coalition aims to identify principles and a framework for prescribing authority that ensures the highest standard of patient care while optimizing professional scope of practice. 

The AOM has supported the College of Midwives’ (CMO’s) efforts to see the Ministry of Health (MOH) amend the Designated Drug Regulation, proposing changes that would replace the existing medication lists with the authority to prescribe broadly within midwifery scope of practice. The current list-based approach is outdated, restrictive, unresponsive to changing evidence, costly to the health-care system and potentially harmful to the quality and safety of care for clients. Prescribing to scope of practice is a better approach that removes unnecessary barriers, facilitates access and minimizes risk to Ontarians. 

The AOM continues to advocate to government to expand prescribing authority for midwives. In response to the MOH announcement of a public consultation for the newly proposed drug regulation in November 2023, the AOM mobilized midwives, clients and the public to provide feedback and call for change. The campaign successfully sent 1400 e-letters to Premier Ford and Health Minister Sylvia Jones.

Despite the AOM’s mobilization efforts and campaign, the new regulation, expected to be enforced soon, will not enable midwives to prescribe to scope. However, the new regulation includes important gains, including additions to the current list of medications midwives can prescribe, as well as the inclusion of some categories of drugs, such as hormonal contraceptives. While these changes are important, the continued reliance on drug lists does little to advance midwives’ ability to prescribe appropriate medications within their skills, knowledge and judgement. 

Through active participation in this coalition, the AOM remains committed to reducing barriers to prescribing to scope and aligning its advocacy efforts with the broader movement for regulatory change.

Questions? Contact Vincia Herbert, Policy Analyst.