Most nurse practitioners working in pharmacies

The drive to bring in nurse practitioners to fill GP shortages has failed, with most now working inside pharmacies providing flu vaccines, health checks and repeat scripts.

Funding for nurse practitioners has also been vastly underspent. Medicare has paid only $5.6 million in MBS item rebates to nurses in four years. The original budget — including prescribing under the PBS — was more than $59 million.

This result falls far short of the vision outlined in 2009, when the nurse practitioner MBS items were introduced.

Then health minister Nicola Roxon claimed the