Nurse Practioners in Tonga will soon be able to prescribe medication for patients with minor illnesses after parliament passed a new Bill this week.
Matangi Tonga reports the classes of medication covered are similar to those available over the counter in pharmacies abroad.
MP Dr Sitiveni Halapua says patients will still need to see a doctor for specialised treatment.
He says the Ministry of Health reports 60 percent of people who are in outpatient services waiting to see a doctor have minor problems such as headaches or skin rashes.
It is hoped the Bill will reduce hospital waiting times.
All 17 members of the house voted in favour of the Nurse Bill.