Impact on health minimised

14 May 2013

The Government has taken strong moves to help improve the economy while tempering the impact of the budget on the important role health plays in the Australian community.

Acting President of the PSA, Claire O’Reilly, said the PSA understood that in the current economic climate some initiatives proposed by the Society had not been implemented.

“The health sector has undergone some cuts but overall the impact has been reduced as much as possible by spreading the cuts across a broad spectrum of programs across the country,” Dr O’Reilly said.

“We welcome the previously announced additional funding of $30 million for chemotherapy medicines as a key component of Cancer Care rather than finding these funds from the Community Pharmacy Agreement.

“The PBS receives an additional $687 million for new and amended listings over five years.

“However a sting in the tail remains through the ongoing impact of price disclosure which by August 2013 will have reduced the price of more than 130 medicines.”

Dr O’Reilly also said the announcement of increased funding of $16 million for the bowel cancer screening program was also welcomed.

“In addition, the scope of the program has been extended to include a wider range of age groups which will go a long way towards helping to reduce the impact of this disease in the community.”

Dr O’Reilly said the PSA welcomed the opportunity to continue to work with all major parties in the future to further its proposals for a greater utilisation of pharmacists’ skills and knowledge in helping to manage chronic conditions.

“Pharmacists have the potential to play a far more significant role in primary care in Australia and PSA will work to ensure their broad range of skills is better utilised,” she said.

‘With the Budget behind us we can now move forward to build and consolidate the health system to improve the health outcomes of consumers and ensure Australia has a viable and sustainable health system into the future.

“Pharmacists are the most accessible of all health professionals and we are consistently ranked among the most trusted and respected health professionals with consumers.  We are a foundation for the future of the health system in this country.”