Positive push for NPs in general practices

13 February 2014

Firsthand positive experience of nurse practitioners prompted a Timaru GP to sponsor NP advocate Professor Jenny Carryer on an NP road show to the region.

Carryer spent two days visiting the Timaru region this week to talk with a range of local health sector managers and clinicians about the role of NPs in delivering primary health care.

She said the trip was prompted by local GP Anton Van Den Bergh’s experience of NPs already working in general practices in the region. “He considers nurse practitioners to be a key part of the future of general practice and primary health care services.”

Her visit to Timaru and South Canterbury included presentations at the Postgraduate Medical Society lecture series and the monthly GP forum along with visits to local NPs Sharon Hansen and Tanya Kemp who are working in Temuka and Timaru.

“The sustainability of primary health care is a challenge for New Zealand as we address the ageing population,” says Carryer. Also the epidemic of chronic disease and the need to manage increasingly complex health care needs as close to people’s homes as possible.

“For rural areas especially the challenge is even greater with distance from services and a shrinking workforce adding to the challenge,” she said.

Meanwhile the College of Primary Health Care Nurses NZNO is working on a business case for funding the NP role within general practice based on increased patient enrolments, capitation funding and copayments and patient fees.