An extra 20 Nurse Practitioners will be employed across Western Australian primary care settings as part of a new multidisciplinary care model aiming to improve access to primary care and help ease workforce pressures in aged care and the health system.
Announced today, the $11.7 million program, funded by the Federal and Western Australian Governments, builds on recommendations from the Strengthening Medicare Taskforce to allow and promote NPs working to their full-scope of practice.
The Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation (ANMF) welcomed the new program and greater investment in nurse practitioners.
“NPs have already been extremely successful in providing quality-care and improving health outcomes for many across the community, particularly in rural and remote regions, where there is a dire shortage of GPs and other health professionals. Nurse-led, walk-in clinics in a number of regions have allowed people to be provided with safe, quality care without the need to wait in overcrowded EDs,” ANMF Federal Secretary Annie Butler said.
“Currently, NPs are a significantly underutilised workforce, which is why the ANMF and our members have long been calling on Governments to increase the number of NPs working in health and aged care and urgently expand these models of care. This new program will include a number of elements designed to increase primary care service delivery in WA and, importantly, will deliver more efficient and effective care and improved chronic disease management and health outcomes for those communities.”
The pilot will allow NPs to work to their full scope of practice and provide people in WA with quality, timely care – at no cost to the patient, Ms Butler added.
“We believe that NPs are critical to creating a stronger, sustainable Australian healthcare system and the ANMF commends the Federal and WA Health Ministers for implementing this new model of team-based care for the community. We look forward to the expansion of this program to other states and territories.”