A Healthcare Cadre That Meets A Country’s Needs
Keywords:clinical officer, physician assistant, physician associate, health officer, clinical associate, assistant medical officer, feldsher, doctor assistant, barefoot doctors, Emergency Surgical Officer, Medical Extension Officer, Health Extension Officer, Community Health Care Officer, Medical Licentiate
A global healthcare workforce crisis exists. Physician Assistant/Physician Assistant Comparable (PA/PA-comparable) professions can help fill this gap especially in areas such as obstetrics/gynecology, surgery, and infectious disease. These professions, recognized by the World Health Organization (WHO) include: Physician Assistants/Physician Associates (PA), Clinical Officers/Clinical Associates, and Assistant Medical Officers. They exist in over 50 countries under numerous different names as there is no unifying, international title for this cadre.1 (Table 1). The International Labour Organization (ILO) classifies these providers as Paramedical Practitioners in the International Standard Classification of Occupations (ISCO) document; however, the ILO classification has brought some confusion around the name as being confused with Ambulance Workers which is a separate ISCO classification.2 For the purpose of this paper, we will refer to these professions as PA/PA-comparable cadre. In each country, the PA/PA-comparable, like medical doctors, have variations in education, accreditation, regulation, licensing, and scope of practice. There is limited research on this group and very little written by local PA/PA-comparables themselves, thus the following articles are a medical anthropological start to gathering the PA/PA-comparable history from the perspective of this international cadre.
How to Cite
Copyright (c) 2021 Mary Showstark
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
The Social Innovations Journal permits the Creative Commons License:
Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0)
Under the following terms:
Attribution — You must give appropriate credit, provide a link to the license, and indicate if changes were made. You may do so in any reasonable manner, but not in any way that suggests the licensor endorses you or your use.
NonCommercial — You may not use the material for commercial purposes.
NoDerivatives — If you remix, transform, or build upon the material, you may not distribute the modified material.
- No additional restrictions — You may not apply legal terms or technological measures that legally restrict others from doing anything the license permits.
- You do not have to comply with the license for elements of the material in the public domain or where your use is permitted by an applicable exception or limitation.
- No warranties are given. The license may not give you all of the permissions necessary for your intended use. For example, other rights such as publicity, privacy, or moral rights may limit how you use the material
Copyright and Publishing Rights
For the licenses indicated above, authors retain the copyright and full publishing rights without restrictions.