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Regarding the story headed 'GPs cost less than nurse practitioners' (News, July 23),

I work as a nurse practitioner in a busy general practice and get paid much less than any GP.

I was trained by my GP colleagues to deal with minor illness in 1993 and have been doing so successfully for many years.

I have proved through audit that I prescribe much less than a GP for minor illness conditions, and I consult at seven-and-a-half minute appointments, seeing about 100 patients a week.

I do telephone triage every morning, releasing a GP to do surgery. I deal with up to 30 calls each day, triaging to either myself or a GP colleague.

I deal with whatever comes in on the phone. I also work out of hours, which has also been proven to be cost-effective.

I can see up to 75 per cent of what comes through the doors without any GP involvement and I get paid a fraction of what the doctor gets.

The statement that 'nurses take two to three times longer because of their lack of expertise' is definitely claptrap.

I have worked extremely hard to get to the position I am in. I work full time, I have done a BA in general practice nursing and have prescribing, family planning, and minor illness certificates. I also teach nurses and paramedics.

I am sure many of my nurse practitioner colleagues have done the same.

Liz Cook



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