Jul 08, 2013
The Pharmacy Guild of Australia has joined a raft of professional organisations in calling for a re-think of the proposed capping of tax-deductibility of self-education expenses.
The Guild’s Executive Director David Quilty and National Coordinator of Intern Training Hayley Smilie (a practising pharmacist) spoke at the meeting of fifteen peak bodies.
Mr Quilty and Ms Smilie pointed out that as a condition of their ongoing registration to practice, pharmacists by law must undertake a mandatory amount of continuing professional development, with accredited pharmacists having additional requirements.
They expressed concern that the proposed cap on self-education expenses would make it harder for pharmacists to meet these requirements and would particularly hurt:
• Rural pharmacists who travel greater distances to access education;
• Younger pharmacists who are building their skills; and
• Female pharmacists preparing to return to work after having children.
David Quilty said that the world of medicine is changing with innovations like biologics and pharmacogenomics driving greater specialisation and more complex and personalised dispensing.
“These innovations will deliver better, more cost effective health outcomes but are reliant upon pharmacists increasing and broadening their skills through self-paid education,” Mr Quilty said.
“If there is rotting of the tax deduction going on, it should be stamped out. But it is no one’s interest to discourage Australia’s best and brightest health professionals from acquiring the most up-to-date knowledge and skills to assist in the treatment of their patients,” he said.
Hayley Smilie said that pharmacies are taking on increased responsibilities in areas like screening, monitoring, vaccinations, medication management, self-care and chronic care coordination.
“I am particularly concerned about intern pharmacists who must also meet the mandatory CPD
requirements and have less capacity to pay,” Ms Smilie said.
“There is no government funding for clinical placements in pharmacy and this proposed cap will particularly discriminate against those intern pharmacists who fund their own intern training rather than racking up more HECS debt,” Ms Smilie said.
CONTACT: David Quilty, Executive Director, Pharmacy Guild of Australia on 0 400 683 368