23 March, 2020
More than 1,000 people tuned in to the APP Online livestream from Thursday 19 March to Saturday 21 March, supporting the new, digital format of the Australian Pharmacy Professional (APP) Conference. With a backdrop of the unfolding COVID-19 pandemic crisis, presentations understandably focused on support for pharmacists and the wider community at this time.
Pharmacy Guild Senior National Vice President, Trent Twomey opened the conference by recognising the immense pressure that pharmacists are currently facing.
“This pandemic is placing an extreme amount of pressure on everyone in pharmacy. On behalf of the Guild, I am here to reassure the entire community pharmacy workforce that the Guild is here to support you as you support the entire Australian community during this unprecedented event,” Trent said.
“We know that community pharmacy and pharmacists are fatigued, at the forefront of COVID-19 and are continually being asked to do more.”
Guild National Vice President (Finance) John Dowling also added that “the best thing the Government can do to provide certainty to pharmacists right now is to sign the 7CPA.”
With over 40 sessions and up to 28 hours of group 2 CPD credits available, the APP Online program provided practical steps to implement in their pharmacies and business to manage the COVID-19 crisis, as well as ongoing and important clinical updates. As Mark McCrindle said “Great pharmacists not only have a vision for their pharmacy but also for their community”.
Craig James reminded us that from an economic standpoint, the fundamentals are good, the positives outweigh negatives and if we continue to look after customers then they will look after you.
2015 Australian of the Year Rosie Batty highlighted that family violence will become more prevalent during the self-isolation phase of COVID-19 and pharmacists have a key role to play to contain additional societal issues from this pandemic.
“In Australia, family violence affects 1 in 3 women over 15 and 1 in 4 children. Family violence isn’t only a man perpetrating violence against a woman, it is a wider societal issue where the elderly, can also be very susceptible.”
“Particularly throughout the Coronavirus pandemic, I believe there is an opportunity for compassion and generosity of spirit to continue and to rise. Pharmacists and pharmacy workers have a unique opportunity to be mindful of what customers are going though. Are they more anxious or are there signs of depression? You might be the person who can reach out and support throughout this heightened crisis.”
All sessions at APP Online have been recorded and are available on-demand for APP delegates. To access visit appconference.com/apponline. In addition, COVID-19 resources are available for Guild members at guild.org.au/resources/business-operations/COVID-19-Information
Source: The Pharmacy Guild of Australia.