The position statement acknowledges the important role that Nurse Practitioners can play when they work collaboratively as part of a GP-led primary healthcare team. However, to remove confusion, the terminology of ‘independent nurse practitioner’ used in an earlier version of the position statement has been replaced with the term ‘nurse practitioner’ throughout. The position statement includes additional emphasis on the importance of medical oversight where nurse practitioners perform a range of functions within a primary care setting. It also includes additional evidence to support the view that where GPs are well-funded and resourced, health outcomes improve, health savings are generated, and service duplication and wastage of health funding is minimised.
The position statement notes that:
- While NPs are sometimes promoted as means to address workforce shortages and improve access to care, this is best achieved when they are part of a well-coordinated GP led model of care.
- The AMA does not support proposals for NPs’ access to the Medicare Benefits Schedule and Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) independent of a collaborative arrangement with a medical practitioner.
- The advanced skills of NPs are generally limited to a specific field of care in which the NP has undertaken further training and education and, while these skills are extraordinarily valuable, they do not match the breadth of training and experience of a GP. Only GPs are specifically trained for and skilled in comprehensive first contact and continuing care for persons with any undiagnosed sign, symptom, or health concern.