Resistance to NP-led clinic grows

A NURSE practitioner-led clinic in the ACT has drawn renewed criticism from GPs despite the recent anno­unce­ment it has treated 10,000 patients in its first nine months.

The ACT Health-funded clinic, which opened last May, was designed to take the pressure off GPs after hours and reduce the load on hospital emergency services.

Located at Canberra Hos­pital, the walk-in clinic offers free treatment for people with conditions including conjunctivitis, urinary tract infections, minor burns, cuts and grazes and influenza.

However, ACT Division of General Prac­tice chair Dr Rashmi Sharma said a significant portion of patients had to be referred on by the clinic. 

While supporting the role of NPs in primary care, Dr Sharma said they could be more efficiently used within the general practice setting.

“NPs would have a more fulfilling role working in direct collaboration [with GPs] and I think the patients