Health Budget - A Win For Consumers

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12th May 2010, 12:12pm - Views: 1061

Media release

12 May 2010

The Australian College of Nurse Practitioners today welcomes the Federal Government's budget initiatives in providing Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) and Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) access for Nurse Practitioners and midwives and reforming support, scholarship and training programs.

Nurse Practitioners are highly educated in the care of patients with acute and chronic conditions which require ongoing education and management whilst working in collaboration with their medical and allied health colleagues. The new Federal Government budget plan includes PBS and MBS subsidized reimbursement of necessary tests and prescribed medications, which allows the public to access cost effective and evidenced based care where services are offered by a nurse practitioner.

This federal government initiative opens the door to equitable access of healthcare to the most vulnerable in the community including our older Australians. We know that there are serious gaps not met by the current models of care or the current clinicians. Nurse Practitioners are the most appropriate professionals to deliver much needed services in an already stretched healthcare system yet they are so often underutilized in terms of their skills and expertise. Service gaps exist in many different areas including Aged Care, Mental health and Primary care

International research has shown that patients value Nurse Practitioner's ability to speak in plain English and get to the issues that are of central importance to them and their families. Facilitating speedy, timely and geographically directed care where the patient resides means the patient is saved from transport difficulties and discomfort.

Nurse Practitioners in North America and New Zealand are an integral part of the Primary healthcare system respected for their expertise and skills. Empirical studies have shown that when Nurse Practitioners work with GPs the care they deliver is as effective and safe as that delivered by the GP. More importantly however are the synergies created when different health professionals work closely together to ensure care which is truly centred on patients and their needs. At last we have the opportunity to develop models of care which best suit the Australian system and the Australian population ensuring access to safe and effective healthcare for all.

Contact details: Please direct any questions to Helen Gosby President Australian College of Nurse Practitioners ph 0401626743 and Andrew Cashin ph 04077052357.

SOURCE: Australian College of Nurse Practitioners

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