- An investigation is reported of the potential for reducing aggregate medical costs by the introduction of nurse practitioners into the Canadian health care system to an extent consistent with demonstrated safety and effectiveness. A cost model is developed for this purpose and estimates of its parameters are provided. The cost model is coupled with a demographic projection model and potential cost reductions are simulated over the period 1980-2050, under alternative assumptions. Results suggest that savings could have been in the range 10-15% in 1980 for medical services as a whole, and 16-24% for ambulatory services. The estimated savings percentages are quite insensitive to projected changes in the age structure of the Canadian population.