Physician Assistants (PA) is a role that was introduced as part of the Ontario Physician Assistant Initiative, and is being piloted in a selected number of hospital Emergency Departments across the province, including two of Halton Healthcare Services’ hospitals –MDH and OTMH. PAs in Canada work with specific medical directives which delegate the physician management/medical orders in selected circumstances. PA patients are seen by a physician at some point while in their care and all their cases are reviewed with his/her supervising physician prior to a patient being discharged.
PAs are skilled healthcare professionals who support physicians in a range of healthcare settings to help improve timely and effective access to medical care. They are a new category of healthcare professionals - otherwise known as physician extenders - to help deal with the physician shortage across the province. They see patients and work under the direction of supervising physicians. PAs always discuss their findings, diagnosis and proposed care plan with the supervising physician before moving forward. The supervising physician will determine the clinical duties and will ultimately be responsible for the care provided. PAs help out with various aspects of care from conducting patient assessments to providing counseling on preventative healthcare.
HHS has embraced innovative programs like the PA project in order to help meet the expanding demands of the rapidly growing community in which HHS hospitals are located.