Skip links and keyboard navigation

Physician assistants in Queensland


The Department of Health is consulting with interested stakeholders to identify issues impacting on physician assistant practice in Queensland.

Findings from the consultation process will also assist to identify mechanisms to support the utilisation of this role, and investigate its broader health workforce implications.

Individuals and organisations involved in clinical practice are invited to participate in the consultation process.

Participants are asked to consider the information provided in the consultation paper and respond to questions posed in an electronic survey by close of business, Wednesday 22 June 2016.

For more information, contact the Workforce Strategy Branch, Strategy, Policy and Planning Division on 07 3234 1453.


The Department of Health is committed to the delivery of safe, efficient, sustainable, high quality health services, and seeks to ensure that the clinical practices of clinicians, including physician assistants, are appropriate, relevant and responsive to developments in clinical practice and Queensland’s future service requirements.

While the physician assistant profession has been widely adopted internationally, it is a relatively new profession in Australia.

The role:

  • was designed to be adaptable.
  • has the potential to be used in a number of diverse clinical environments.
  • is a member of a multidisciplinary team working under the delegation of a supervising medical practitioner.
  • has similar diagnostic and therapeutic reasoning to a medical practitioner.
  • is educated to be generalist in nature.

The physician assistant extends the practice of the medical supervisor by undertaking routine activities, allowing the medical practitioner to attend to other clinical priorities and more complex tasks. The collaborative relationship between the physician assistant and supervisor is a defining feature of this role and distinguishes it from other professions.

Improving governance mechanisms and addressing these barriers will enable the role to become a viable workforce option, particularly for the rural and Indigenous communities.

Last updated: 3 June 2016