The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA) has called on the NSW Government to action five key areas in its 2021-22 Budget Submission.
The five areas include:
- Improved access to vaccinations.
- Redirection of non-urgent emergency presentations to community pharmacy.
- Supporting harm minimisation activities associated with opioids.
- Supporting positive health outcomes and patient self-care for Hepatitis C.
- Improved medicine safety in state funded aged care facilities.
Actioning the five key areas will help to improve access to medicines and health care for the NSW population.
“Community pharmacists provide an accessible and safe location for the delivery of vaccination services and by improving vaccination rates, pharmacies can help ease pressure on general practice and hospital emergency departments,” says PSA NSW Branch President Chelsea Felkai.
“PSA recommends using pharmacist immunisers for large scale rollout of the Covid-19 vaccine in NSW and ensuring the Covid-19 vaccine and service is funded when administered by any trained immuniser, including pharmacists.”
Ms Felkai adds that patients seeking care for non-urgent conditions such as headaches, and coughs and colds should be redirected to community pharmacies to ease the burden on public hospital emergency departments.
“There is strong evidence that the clinical advice provided by community pharmacists regarding symptoms of minor illness results in the same health outcomes as if the patient went to see their GP or attended the emergency department,” she says.
“Pharmacists can manage non-urgent conditions or love urgency conditions, provided the right level of care and mitigate funding and system inefficiencies as patients access professional support for conditions that can be self-managed or require referral.”
In relation to supporting medicine safety in stated funded aged care facilities, Ms Felkai says that while medicines are the most common intervention in health care, problems with the use of medicines is common, resulting in 250,000 hospital admissions annually across Australia.
To view the 2021-22 NSW Budget Submission, visit: psa.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/Budget-Submission-2021-22-NSW-Final.pdf