Midwives and nurses are as good as docs — and sometimes better, WHO finds
By Maggie Fox on NBCNews.com
Midwives, nurse practitioners, physician assistants and other non-doctors do as good a job as MDs in the care they deliver — and patients often like them better, a World Health Organization team reported on Thursday.
These non-physicians are especially effective in delivering babies, taking care of people infected with the AIDS virus, and helping people care for chronic diseases such as diabetes and high blood pressure, the team reported in a WHO bulletin.
The findings extend from the poorest nations to the United States and Europe, they said. While some physician groups have resisted wider use of such professionals, they should embrace them because they are often less expensive to deploy and are far more willing to work in rural areas, the WHO experts said.