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5 November 2009 - 3:05pm
AMA President, Dr Andrew Pesce, said today that the AMA welcomes the Government’s decision to amend the Health Legislation Amendment (Midwives and Nurse Practitioners) Bill 2009 to specify a formal requirement that midwives and nurse practitioners must work in collaboration with medical practitioners.
Dr Pesce said the AMA has been negotiating with the Government for this vital change to the legislation for some time, and the AMA had received recent support from other medical groups, most notably the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners.
“We made it clear to the Government that without a requirement in law that there be collaborative arrangements between midwives, nurse practitioners and doctors then the legislation did not have any safeguards to ensure continuity of patient care, nor did it have any protections against the fragmentation of patient care services,” Dr Pesce said.
“I repeat – the amendments impose a legal requirement for collaborative arrangements between medical practitioners and midwives or between medical practitioners and nurse practitioners.
“The AMA has worked cooperatively with the Government on these amendments to the legislation.
“These changes create a framework of quality primary care delivery that supports team-based care and ensures that the role of medical practitioners, particularly the patient’s usual General Practitioner, is not undermined.
“Evidence shows that patients enjoy better health outcomes when they are treated in a model of care that provides coordinated, continuous, and comprehensive patient-centred care that is delivered by appropriately trained health professionals.
“The AMA commends the Government for recognising and accepting amendments that are in the interests of patient care.
The AMA will continue to work with the Government as further regulations and guidelines are developed to ensure that collaborative arrangements are based on best practice standards of medical care,” Dr Pesce said.
The AMA’s position was part of its submission to the Senate Community Affairs Committee on 22 July 2009. AMA President, Dr Andrew Pesce, appeared before the Committee on 6 August 2009.
5 November 2009
John Flannery 02 6270 5477 / 0419 494 761
Peter Jean 02 6270 5464 / 0427 209 753
AMA welcomes amendment to the Health Legislation Amendment (Midwives and Nurse Practitioners) Bill 2009 | Australian Medical Association