Ministry to recognize doctors’ assistants

Health Ministry to also recognize nurse practitioners in policy about-face, including auxiliary professionals for first time.

December 7, 2012 04:15
2 minute read.
ORIENNE sits with nurse

ORIENNE sits with nurse 370. (photo credit: Kaplan Medical Center)


Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

The Health Ministry has done an about-face in its policy of not recognizing auxiliary medical professionals – physicians’ assistants (PAs) and nurse practitioners (NPs).

Prof. Arnon Afek, head of the ministry’s Medical Administration and previously deputy director of Sheba Medical Center, stated Thursday that his office was working hard to accept the professionals, who in the US and other countries expand medical and nursing services at a lower cost than physicians and registered nurses.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.

The Jerusalem Post raised the idea of recognizing PAs and NPs more than two years ago, after it received complaints from new immigrants from the US who had worked in these professions but had no ministry recognition and were therefore unable to find employment in their fields.

The Post contacted ministry director-general Prof. Ronni Gamzu and Israel Medical Association chairman Dr. Leonid Eidelman, both of whom said there was “no need” for PAs and NPs here.

Even though physician's assistants don't study as long as physicians, they ease the burden examining and assessing patients, diagnosing injuries and illnesses and providing some treatment – all the time under the direction of physicians. As for nurse practitioners, they strudy even more years that registered nurses and perform a variety of tasks that used to be the responsibility solely of doctors

As there is a severe shortage of doctors and nurses in Israel, the ministry has finally recognized that PAs and NPs can stretch out the existing professional manpower.

Afek made this statement at a conference Thursday marking the 60th anniversary of the first class to graduate from the Hebrew University’s Hadassah Medical School.

Chairing the conference were HU Medical Faculty dean Prof. Eran Leitersdorf and alumni group chairman and anesthesiologist Prof. Benjamin Drenger. Some 1,000 graduates from over the decades were in attendance, as were 100 current medical students.

There was a discussion on the long 2011 doctors’ strike that raised salaries and gave incentives to work in the periphery and specialties with inadequate manpower.

More veteran physicians said the Treasury’s insistence that all doctors use a time clock when they began and ended work had turned out to be “harmful,” as many doctors said they refused to work longer hours for which they would not get paid. Before the introduction of the time clock, they hadn’t looked at their watches to find out when to go home, they said.

However, young physicians and medical students said the time clock was beneficial because it gave them more time to sleep and be with their families.

A Health Page feature on the conference will appear on Sunday, December 16.

Related Content

August 31, 2014
Weizmann scientists bring nature back to artificially selected lab mice