Practice nurse role in health assessments clarified

The RACGP and the AMA said the advice, issued on Wednesday, clears up months of ambiguity. 

A statement quietly published on the DoH’s website said practice nurses and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health practitioners may assist GPs in performing health assessments under the supervision of a GP.

“The time needed to undertake the aspects… of the health assessment by the practice nurse or Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health practitioner may be added to the time taken by the GP to complete the assessment,” it said. 

The issue has been the subject of anxiety since the surprise announcement by the Department of Human Services on 1 July that nurses’ time could no longer be included in billing for MBS items 701–707 and 715. 

It was followed by weeks of confused statements from the DHS on whether nurses’ time could be included or not. 

RACGP president Dr