Jul , 8 2013
The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia has united with a wide range of professional and industry peak bodies to urgently seek an end to Government plans to impose a $2000 cap on education expenses.
The $2000 cap was announced in the Federal Budget and covers all costs associated with education expenses including all travel, accommodation, conference and tuition fees.
National President of the PSA, Grant Kardachi, and CEO Liesel Wett joined representatives from the pharmacy, medical, accounting, legal, engineering, veterinary, nursing and other professions to urge the Government to scrap the proposal.
“At a time when the Government is seeking to reduce health costs through a healthier population it is incongruous that it is proposing a move which will greatly curtail the ability of many health professional, including pharmacists, to maintain a level of expertise and knowledge that would help the Government see its goals met in the long term,” Mr Kardachi said.
“A survey of our more than 18,000 of our members found two thirds have annual education outlays of more than $2000 and 80 per cent said their employers did not reimburse them for educational expenses.
“Most disturbingly, 82 per cent of respondents said a $2000 cap would cause them to decrease their educational activities, a move which could have serious consequences for the health of all Australians.
“Educational activities help pharmacists to provide the best possible services and advice to consumers, and so improve the health outcomes of all members of the community. Any move which threatens the ability of pharmacists to undertake this education is a threat to the health of all Australians.”
Mr Kardachi said PSA was urging its members to talk to local politicians and candidates in the lead-up to the Federal election to urge the Government to scrap the cap.
“Members of Parliament and those aspiring to such high office need to know the potential impacts of bad Government policy,” Mr Kardachi said.
“The new Prime Minister Mr Rudd has a great opportunity to act now in the national interest and we urge him to grasp this challenge and stamp his authority by scrapping the cap.”
MEDIA CONTACT: Peter Waterman 0487 922 176