There is an opportunity for Physician Assistants as well as Nurse Practitioners to serve indigenous and remote communities. There is a high turnover of physicians in Manitoba.
PAs can make a difference in areas such as:
- Management of diabetes
- Prevention of diabetes related amputations
- Diagnosing and treating communicable diseases
- Communicate with community
- Responding to the needs of youth
In the United States:
The Indian Health Services there are 250+ PAs meeting health care needs of American Natives and Alaska Natives. These PAs are credentialed in Emergency and Family Medicine. This program has been successful and a model worth examining when implementing PAs to serve rural, and remote communities.
Early findings suggest that PAs could have significant impact on:
- Ability of primary care practices to accept new patients
- Patient access, serving remove communities where there is low retention/ high turnover of physicians.
There is potential for PAs to work in remote communities, with physician supervision available by phone.