19 October 2012
he need for pharmacists to be better prepared for the introduction of new professional services has taken on greater significance as pressures increase for changes to be made to the model of pharmacy practice.
This was the message delivered by PSA National President, Grant Kardachi, during the PAC12 opening plenary today.
Mr Kardachi said all pharmacists were familiar with the fact that dispensing medicines had long been the mainstay of the profession and was still core business.
“But this is changing as the whole health-care environment evolves,” Mr Kardachi said. “One thing that is very clear is that pharmacy in the future cannot grow as an isolated profession.
“We must expand our professional horizons and form partnerships with other health professions; partnerships that not only enhance us professionally and business-wise, but partnerships which also serve to improve the health-outcomes of our patients and customers – the communities of Australia.”
Developing partnerships provided many opportunities not only for pharmacists individually, but collectively they demonstrated to the government, to the health sector and to the public that the pharmacy profession was absolutely pivotal to the new health model in Australia.
“This new model is predicated on health professionals working together,” Mr Kardachi said. “We for too long have been the unseen health profession.
“Despite the fact pharmacists are often the first health professionals consulted by consumers, and undisputedly the most accessible, we have been overlooked by successive governments who, while appreciating our work and professionalism, tend to take us for granted.
“Of course we have the Community Pharmacy Agreements but all too often there appears to be a tendency to view these as the be-all and end-all of pharmacy participation in the health sector, thus potentially excluding us from making a greater contribution to a range of other heaths services.”
Mr Kardachi said it had to be recognised that under the health reform agenda’s new model, taking pharmacists’ services, knowledge and skills for granted was not an option any longer.
“To do so is to jeopardise the viability and sustainability of our profession, and the health system, moving forward,” Mr Kardachi said.
MEDIA CONTACT: Peter Waterman 0487 922 176