Press Release – College of Nurses Aotearoa Inc
It is very distressing to see the report 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 the 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.