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Tuesday, 8 September 2009
Page: 8925

Ms NEAL (5:34 PM) —I rise to continue what I was saying yesterday about theHealth Legislation Amendment (Midwives and Nurse Practitioners) Bill 2009, the Midwife Professional Indemnity (Commonwealth Contribution) Scheme Bill 2009 and the Midwife Professional Indemnity (Run-off Cover Support Payment) Bill 2009.

In circumstances such as these, nurse practitioners can spend time in nursing homes and retirement villages ahead of and during a doctor’s visit, writing repeat prescriptions, ordering testing in advance of the doctor’s visit and following up on doctor diagnoses and paperwork to maximise the time spent in crucial diagnosis by the GP. It is not hard to see how doctors benefit from these collaborative arrangements. Nurse practitioners also benefit greatly from being able to expand their patient care into areas of particular competency and specialisation. This could be in areas such as immunisation, chronic condition management or aged care.

So, in several crucial ways, nurse practitioners can be a great bridge within primary care, as patient educators and as partners in the maintenance of chronic and complex care patients. Under the provisions of this legislation, doctors win, nurses win and, most especially, patients and the community win. All benefit from the expansion of capacity and efficiency within the primary healthcare system provided by this legislation. I commend the bills to the House.