Monday’s emergency department closure in Princeton is just another reminder of the problems that exist with access to health care in BC.
One possible solution includes utilizing Physician Assistants (PAs). Other provinces including Manitoba, Ontario and New Brunswick are already successfully employing PAs and are realizing the benefits that they provide.
PAs, like myself have a high level of medical training and can deliver health care services similar to those provided by a physician. PAs have a close and dependent relationship with physicians and function with negotiated autonomy. Physician supervision can be done onsite or remotely. This relationship would allow for a PA to work in places like the Princeton emergency department even when the physician is absent.
Perhaps now is the time to integrate PAs into our health care system. Patients would be the big winners, with increased access to care, reduced wait times and quality medical care.
Nicole Nordine, Physician Assistant