Government misses opportunity to use pharmacists to improve health outcomes
13 May 2014
The Federal Budget has once again ignored the value of pharmacists providing services to help improve the health outcomes of Australians and to also reduce the health budget at the same time.
National President of the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia, Grant Kardachi, said the Budget was developed to deal with tight economic conditions but had failed to realise opportunities in key areas.
“PSA presented a detailed Budget Submission which was formulated to help underpin the Government’s desire to strengthen today’s health system for tomorrow,” Mr Kardachi said.
“We detailed areas where pharmacists can really make a difference to the lives of Australians and set out what was needed to optimise this important role, which would also help the Government rein in health costs.
“Pharmacists are among the most trusted and accessible professionals in Australia. Pharmacists are highly qualified health professionals yet their skills, knowledge and expertise are often under-recognised and under-utilised. Australia now has a large and growing pharmacist workforce that is highly trained.
“There was a great opportunity for the Government to show initiative and use pharmacists to improve the health and wellbeing of the community while also helping to ensure we maintain a viable and sustainable health system.”
Mr Kardachi said PSA had highlighted three key areas in which existing health resources could be better coordinated and targeted within a collaborative primary healthcare model. Specifically, it identified opportunities to better utilise the skills and expertise of pharmacists to address areas of unmet need, aligned with the Government’s policy objectives.
“PSA will continue to urge the Government to make better and more strategic use of the resources it has available to it,” Mr Kardachi said.
“We have to change the mindset in Australia and start looking to innovative approaches to healthcare. Pharmacists are a resource waiting to be better utilised and PSA will seek opportunities for their skills and knowledge to be better utilised for the good of all Australians.”
Media contact: Peter Waterman
Public Affairs Director
0419 260 827