Give nurses low-risk jobs to free up doctors’ time: report

The Grattan Institute has released a report arguing hospitals can get more bang for the public buck by allowing lower-qualified medical professionals to provide basic care.

Nursing assistants could free up nurses' time, and specialist nurses could free up doctors' time, by taking low-risk procedures from their more qualified colleagues.

More assistants could be employed to support physiotherapists and occupational therapists.

The institute estimates these job reallocation measures could save pubic hospitals almost $430 million annually, which could fund treatment for 80,000 more patients.

The current system is outdated and results in a mismatch of skills and jobs, putting added pressure on an already-strained public hospital system, it says.

"It doesn't take 15 years of training to provide light sedation for a stable patient having a simple procedure, or a three-year degree to help someone bathe or eat – but that's where

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