The State Labor Government is boosting health care services in Gawler by hiring additional specialist nurses for the Gawler Health Service.

In response to a question asked by local Member of Parliament, Mr Tony Piccolo, the Health Minister, the Hon Chris Picton advised that seven nurse practitioners are being deployed to help their local communities and support GPs and aged care providers.

Mr Piccolo said four of the nursing positions – the most senior and independent nurses in our health system – will start at Gawler Hospital Emergency Department later this month, following a $2 million investment made by the Malinauskas Government over four years to ensure the long-term roles meet growing demand in the region.

“Nurse practitioners are experienced registered nurses who have completed additional study to routinely manage all aspects of a patient’s care,” said Mr Piccolo.

“They can prescribe treatments, order tests and diagnose patients while working independently – unlike registered nurses working under a GP who ultimately decides how to manage a patient’s care.”

“The extra responsibility of nurse practitioners means they can deliver timely services to patients unable to see a GP, provide follow-up care to those with complex health conditions, and offer at-home visits for people with mobility or transport issues.”

Mr Piccolo said at a recent visit to the local hospital, the health minister acknowledged the huge workload that the Gawler Health Service Emergency Department carries, and these additional nurse practitioners will help with both the quality of care and the timeliness of seeing and receiving treatment.

Mr Picton said he strongly supports the role of nurse practitioners and am excited we are able to roll out more in these locations. These are highly experienced clinicians with extensive training to provide timely care to patients.

“Just a fortnight ago I visited Gawler Hospital and met the hardworking team managing an increasing number of emergency presentations. These extra staff will help our hospitals provide timely and quality care for people who need assistance,” Mr Picton said.

Labor has committed to recruit 300 extra nurses to improve patient care and ease pressure on hospitals as part of our record $2.4 billion investment in health.