November 19th, 2019

Veterans Committee should discuss physician assistants’ role

Halifax -- Today, the Liberal members of the Standing Committee on Veterans Affairs rejected the NDP’s proposal to discuss physician assistants at a future meeting.

“Former military members work as physician assistants (PAs) in many provinces and in the United States. The Veterans Affairs committee is the best place to discuss the possibility of allowing PAs to work in our hospitals,” said NDP MLA and Veterans Committee member Lisa Roberts. “Allowing physicians assistants in Nova Scotia would have the double benefit of addressing part of the health care crisis and creating new jobs for veterans here at home.”

The NDP tabled legislation this fall to allow physician assistants to work in Nova Scotia, adding to the options for front-line health care. Other provinces, including Ontario, Manitoba, Alberta, and New Brunswick, have physician assistants as part of their health care system.

“These committees are meant to be a place for all parties to discuss important issues and bring topics to the floor,” said Roberts. “To have the Liberals use their majority to reject this topic is frustrating and undermines our ability to find solutions to any number of issues.”

The Liberals recently used their majority vote in Public Accounts Committee to prevent that group from hearing more about the government’s decision to use P3s for health care infrastructure.

The Liberals and PC members of the Veterans Committee voted to refer the discussion of physician assistants to the Health Committee.