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Letter: PAs can alleviate lengthy wait times in local emerg

BarrieToday received the following letter from Chris Rhule in response to the article RVH emergency wait times "horrific"

BarrieToday received the following letter from Chris Rhule, Canadian Association of Physician Assistants National President, in response to the article RVH emergency wait times "horrific".

A recent report released by Simcoe County Hospital Alliance highlighted that RVH, Barrie’s community hospital is falling well below the provincial average for wait times.

With patients waiting up to 4 hours to be seen and spending on average 7 hours in the emergency department (ED), residents of Barrie are in dire straits. Physician Assistants (PAs) are part of the solution.

PAs can help to reduce wait times and improve patient flow.

Further, PAs can be employed in primary care settings to extend the physicians services thereby expanding their practice and allowing them to see more patients and minimize visits to the ED.

PAs are medically trained and can perform tasks similar to that of their supervising physician.

Studies suggest that PAs in primary care settings can be used for 75 percent of all visits without referral to a physician and they can manage up to 62 percent of all patients in emergency care environments.

PAs are currently practicing in Ontario EDs and have been shown to reduce wait times by 1.9 times and substantially improve patient flow.

The addition of PAs to RVH can increase access to care, reduce wait times and help to reduce congestion in emergency departments.

With the governments’ recent announcement regarding an increased investment of $160 million dollars in Ontario hospitals to reduce wait times, CAPA is calling on government to fund addition PA positions in EDs.

Chris Rhule, MHS, PA-C, CCPA
National President