The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA) has indicated that, following the May 18 election, it will be focused on working with the incoming federal government to support a healthier Australia by making better use of the pharmacist workforce.
PSA National President Dr Chris Freeman says that while Australia has a world-class healthcare system, it faces many challenges and pharmacists are well placed to increase access to care and improve patient and medicine safety.
“PSA looks forward to working with an incoming government to improve medicine safety for all Australians by empowering pharmacists to better meet the needs of the community,” he said.
“Our ‘Pharmacists in 2023’ report outlines 11 key actions to improve the health of all Australians through better access to care, medicine safety and use of pharmacists’ expertise.
“To meet community health needs, we must ensure pharmacists can practise to their full potential, develop within a team of health professionals and have a quality agenda for the services they deliver.
“The public want to see pharmacists’ knowledge and skills being put to full use. We need to remove the structural and funding barriers that are holding pharmacists back. It’s simply a waste of precious healthcare resources if we don’t have our pharmacists practising to their full potential. It’s a disservice to patients and to the entire community to not fully utilise a ready and waiting health workforce to improve care.”
PSA seeks the following commitments from an incoming government:
- Address the alarming rate of medicine-related harm in the health system by declaring medicine safety a National Health Priority Area.
- Provide funding to embed pharmacists within healthcare teams, particularly in residential aged care facilities.
- Accept the MBS Review Taskforce’s recommendations to allow pharmacists to access allied health items to provide medication management services to patients with complex care requirements.
- Align the incentives for pharmacists to support rural and remote communities with those of other rural and remote health practitioners.
- Include PSA as a signatory to the Community Pharmacy Agreement.
PSA has welcomed the recent commitment by the Health Minister Greg Hunt that PSA will be a signatory to the 7th Community Pharmacy Agreement (7CPA), and the commitment from Labor’s Shadow Health Minister Catherine King to “early and inclusive” negotiations for the 7CPA.
“PSA believes the need to preserve the accessibility of community pharmacy for the delivery of healthcare services such as vaccinations, medication management and minor illness care. For this reason, and as recommended by the Review of Pharmacy Remuneration and regulation, PSA must be included as a signatory in the upcoming 7CPA,” Dr Freeman said.
“Pharmacists are among the most accessible health professionals. Every day they use their clinical training to care for patients across the country.
“PSA looks forward to working with an incoming government to empower pharmacists to do more to deliver better healthcare for all Australians.