TASMANIA WELL PLACED FOR PHYSICIANS ASSISTANTS SCHEME PILOT STUDY
Welcome Premier’s In-Principle Support

Paul O’Halloran MP
Greens Health spokesperson
Friday, 10 August 2012

The Tasmanian Greens today continued their campaign to have Physicians Assistants introduced into the health system, saying that the State was well placed to pilot the proposal.

Greens Health spokesperson Paul O’Halloran MP, who welcomed the Premier’s in-principle support for the concept, said that given the pressures on the state health budget and workforce Tasmania needed to focus on investigating how to best implement a Physicians Assistants scheme.

“Since I released the Greens’ proposal yesterday, the Greens have been overwhelmed by the positive response we have received from health workers and the broader public, including the Premier’s verbal in-principle support for the concept,” Mr O’Halloran said.

“We firmly believe that the introduction of Physicians Assistants will complement the valuable work already undertaken by our dedicated nurses, doctors, and other medical practitioners, but whom as we all know are so desperately stretched.”

“PAs have the potential to inject versatility on the ground to the benefit of our overworked nurses and doctors, as well as the community who are struggling to access medical services, especially in our rural and regional areas.”

“PAs can work in hospitals, GP clinics, health centres, and significantly, in ambulance services. This versatility adds robustness to the health workforce, and an prevent the need for patient transfer to hospitals and the emergency departments just in order to access medical services.”

“Crucially, due to the complementary nature of this PA role, they can reduce the costs and funding strains on our health system, as it can reduce the reliance on GP locums as well as facilitate earlier intervention that prevents health complaints escalating into more extreme and expensive medical problems for patients.”

“But we need to get cracking on investigating how best to implement a state PA scheme as we know that not only is our health system buckling under its costs now, but it is expected to consume the entire State Budget by 2030.”

“Tasmania is well positioned to conduct pilot trials to introduce this positive new tool for our health care tool-kit,” Mr O’Halloran said.
Paul O’Halloran MP Greens Health spokesperson