14 Oct, 2014
The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia has welcomed the findings of a Victorian Government committee inquiry in community pharmacy which has formally recognised the role of the pharmacist in the community, while pointing to the potential for pharmacists to play a much greater role in improving health outcomes.
The report of the Legislative Council Legal and Social Issues Legislation Committee Inquiry into Community Pharmacy in Victoria found a proportion of general practitioner visits were for ‘less complex’ conditions, some of which could potentially be treated within a community pharmacy.
In particular, the committee made recommendations for pharmacists to administer adult vaccinations, triage minor ailments and continue to expand their role within the allied health team to improve the health outcomes of Victorians.
Victorian President of the PSA, Michelle Lynch, said the committee’s findings and recommendations support PSA’s view that pharmacists are currently under-utilised.
“Pharmacists have a wealth of skills and knowledge that can be better used within the health system,” Ms Lynch said.
“The committee recognised this and has made 17 recommendations which all incorporate better uses of pharmacists’ expertise.
“The committee has recommended that the Victorian Department of Health establish a pharmacy immunisation trial targeting adults and ideally commencing in time for the 2015 influenza season.
“PSA already has conducted a very successful pilot in Queensland which saw more than 10,000 people immunised by pharmacists and we look forward to assisting in implementation of such a pilot in Victoria.”
The committee also recommended that the Department of Health work with the Commonwealth Government and healthcare providers to pilot a minor ailments scheme in rural Victoria for selected and suitably trained community pharmacists.
Ms Lynch said pharmacists had long been involved in treating minor ailments and the PSA welcomed the suggestion that a formalised scheme be trialled for rural areas.
“These are all very targeted recommendations by the committee and PSA in Victoria looks forward to working with the Government, health authorities, stakeholders and consumers to help implement these recommendations and ensure the best possible outcomes for all consumers.” Ms Lynch said.
Media contact: Peter Waterman
Public Affairs Director
0419 260 827