House approves bill adding physicians assistant to medical board

Posted: Sunday, April 08, 2001

JUNEAU (AP) -- The state House voted unanimously Friday to add a physician assistant to the State Medical Board.

Senate Bill 58, approved by the Senate last month, boosts membership on the board from seven to eight and boosts the number needed for a quorum to conduct official business from four to five.

Rep. Hugh Fate, R-Fairbanks, said the measure was a simple bill with a large impact.

''Physician assistants have 50,000 patient contacts per month,'' Fate said. ''There are 250 physician assistants in the state of Alaska. They're a large part of the rural health delivery and they themselves are a large part of the actual medical delivery in a physician's office.''

Under terms of the bill, the board would consist of five physicians, one physician assistant and two people with no direct financial interest in the health care industry.

The bill now moves to the governor for his consideration.

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