California Lawmaker Wants to Expand the Roles of Health Care Workers
Wednesday, December 5, 2012
Democratic State Senator and Doctor Ed Hernandez says there's already a shortage of primary care doctors in California.
HERNANDEZ: "Fortunately we're going to have the Affordable Care Act implemented in 2014, but unfortunately, you're not going to have enough workforce to address it by 2014."
So he says he's going to carry a package of bills next year that would empower nurse practitioners, podiatrists, pharmacists and others to perform some of the tasks of primary care doctors.
HERNANDEZ:"You need to allow them perhaps even the ability to diagnose you need to allow them the ability to treat and to prescribe as well as work collaboratively with standards of protocol with physicians."
Hernandez says changing the way health professionals practice is only part of the strategy - he also wants more medical school education, and more doctors seeing Medi-Cal patients.