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That Attitude is Disappointing

July 14, 2008

I write in response to your article on nurse practitioners (Health, June 30), especially comments by chief nurse Mark Jones.

Though I applaud the Health Ministry and Nursing Council initiative in establishing the nurse practitioner position and don’t disagree that they serve an important purpose in our increasingly stretched healthcare system, I’m perplexed and somewhat dismayed at Mr Jones’ comment that “Nurse practitioners generally work from a more patient-centred approach than their medical colleagues”.

The healthcare team consists of doctors, nurses and other allied health professionals working together and the overall multi- disciplinary team approach is undeniably patient-centred. For Mr Jones to suggest that nurses take a more patient-centred approach than doctors is inaccurate and certainly doesn’t reflect modern medical practice.

In this era of chronic understaffing and limited resources, for the chief nurse to suggest that the medical staff in our public hospitals are taking a sub-optimal approach to patient care is extremely disappointing.

Dr KEVIN LUONG

Resident Doctors Association national executive

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