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Press Releaseon 20 September
College of Nurses says: Low cost health clinics could be saved
Re: Report in the Dom Post (September 20th) on low-cost health clinics
It is very distressing to see the report in the Dom Post (September 20th) that tens of thousands of Wellington's most vulnerable patients could struggle to see a doctor unless threatened low-cost health clinics can be pulled back from "crisis point" and kept afloat. This situation is not confined to Wellington.
Nurse leaders began warning Government as early as 1998 that it was imperative to develop the Nurse Practitioner role in order to sustain affordable primary health care services in New Zealand.
A nurse practitioner can provide all of the services provided by a General Practitioner and they are less expensive to prepare and, although well paid, still expect less remuneration than a General Practitioner. In addition the international evidence shows that the way Nurse Practitioners work with vulnerable populations and people with long term conditions especially, generates high quality and cost effective outcomes.
Over 1000 nurses in NZ have completed the preparation to become a Nurse Practitioner despite considerable lack of encouragement and support from health policy makers. Only 130 or so are employed as Nurse Practitioners. This is an appalling waste.
Contact Person - Professor Jenny Carryer
School of Nursing
College of Health
College of Nurses
Cell: 027 449 1302
Information about the College of Nurses-The College is a professional body of New Zealand Registered Nurses and Nurse Practitioners from all regions and specialties. It provides a voice for the nursing profession and professional commentary on issues which affect nurses, and also the health of the whole community. Its aim is to support excellence in clinical practice, research and education and to work with consumers to influence health policy. The College is committed to the Treaty of Waitangi and the improvement of Maori health. This commitment is reflected in the bicultural structure of the organisation.