April 18, 2017 6:51 pm
Updated: April 19, 2017 11:52 am

Nurses up in arms over losing the right to inject Botox without individual prescriptions

WATCH: Nurses in Quebec will no longer be able to administer Botox injections without a prescription, starting May 1. As Global's Anne Leclair reports, the province’s College of Physicians insists it’s a question of patient safety.

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Nurses who work in the field of medical aesthetics are calling on the Quebec government to back down on a new plan to strictly regulate their industry. Currently, patients seeking Botox or other injectables don’t need a doctor’s prescription. But that will change starting next month.

“May 1 is the deadline to reorganize our practice. It’s really disappointing that the nurses in 2017 have to go back 15 years,” registered nurse Louise St-Aubin said.

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The Mont Tremblant resident runs three clinics dedicated to facial rejuvenation and has been injecting clients for that last 12 years. The rules governing her business will soon change dramatically since she will no longer be allowed to inject her clients without individual prescriptions.

“I don’t think the clients need to be seeing a doctor for these treatments,” St-Aubin said.

Patients who want injections can currently choose between a physician or an authorized nurse.

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There are approximately 200 nurses practising medical aesthetics in Quebec. It’s a booming business that some suspect doctors now want in on. St-Aubin, who is also the president of a group representing independent nurses (RIIEQ), worries the new rules will restrict access to treatment since clients will now have to take the extra step of finding a doctor first.

“I think the doctors don’t have the time to do that kind of practice especially [considering] that the nurses have all the abilities to do it, and we have the law that tells that we can do it,” St-Aubin insisted.

But the Quebec College of Physicians claims its clamping down in the name of public safety.

“All those products can have some side effects so if it’s not done by people with skills or knowledge of that product, it can bring some harm to a patient so we want to avoid those things,” the college’s president Dr. Charles Bernard said.

READ MORE: Quebec budget 2017: Nurses’ union wants money for care, not doctor salaries

An estimated 60,000 Quebecers receive injectables including Botox every year. Nurses are now calling on the government to put a stop to the new rules by imposing a moratorium.

“They need to stop what they’re doing right now,” St-Aubin said. “They need to redo their homework and consider some of our propositions.”

But according to the college of physicians, there’s no turning back.

“The nurses can still do their job. The only thing is, they have to have a prescription of a physician and they will do the same work that they are doing right now,” Bernard said.

The RIIEQ is meeting with the health minister this week, hoping he will intervene to block the new rules before they take effect May 1.

© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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