The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA) has called on the Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) Review Taskforce to increase the role of pharmacists to address the healthcare needs of all Australians.
The PSA’s recommendations, which stem from its two key reports, Medicine Safety: Take care and Pharmacists in 2023, made to the task force focused on the inclusion of pharmacist services on the MBS.
By doing so, pharmacists would no longer be excluded from the rest of the allied healthcare workforce in the delivery of consultation-based services upon referral from a general practitioner, enabling pharmacists to harness their skills and expertise as medical experts.
“Given the rate of medicine-related harm being experienced by Australians and the potential for pharmacists to contribute to medicine safety, it is critical that the implementation of this recommendation is not delayed,” PSA National President, Dr Chris Freeman said.
Supporting vulnerable population groups
The inclusion of pharmacists in allied healthcare teams is important for vulnerable groups, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, as it would positively impact current issues facing these groups such as medication adherence.
Key role in mental health teams
PSA supports recommendations from the Mental Health Reference Group to encourage coordinated support for patients with chronic and mental illnesses and access to mental health services in residential aged care.
“We look forward to [working] with the groups involved in the MBS Review, and then working with the Minister for Health to make these recommendations a reality,” Dr Freeman said.