30 Jun, 2014
Last Wednesday 25th June saw the Victorian Branch Presidents of the Pharmaceutical Society Australia and Pharmacy Guild of Australia, Michelle Lynch and Anthony Tassone respectively, appear before the Legal and Social Issues Legislation Committee, to give evidence to the Victorian government inquiry into community pharmacy.
The inquiry is exploring and identifying the potential roles and opportunities for community pharmacy in primary and preventative care in Victoria. The committee is due to release its report by 14th October 2014.
Speaking after the public hearing, both Branch Presidents said they were confident that their presentations offered a strong case for greater utilisation of pharmacists in community pharmacy.
PSA’s Michelle Lynch said the Victorian Government now had the opportunity to lead the way to better utilise the skills and knowledge of pharmacists.
“Pharmacists are highly trained, are experts in medicines and medication management, and are located in communities throughout Australia. However, their role is far more limited in Australia compared to many other countries.” Ms Lynch said.
“This inquiry has enabled the profession to once again highlight how much pharmacists can offer the health system and improve the health outcomes of everyone in the community.”
Ms Lynch said just one area of growing concern where pharmacists could make a real difference was the rising number of medication-related hospital admissions amongst the ageing.
“Pharmacists are ideally placed and readily accessible to counsel and advise on the Quality Use of Medicines to reduce this admission rate which will not only result in a healthier nation, but also underpin a sustainable and viable health system,” Ms Lynch said.
“Better utilising pharmacists in the health system is just common sense.”
Mr Tassone echoed Ms Lynch’s sentiments about the role that pharmacists could potentially play.
“Like the PSA, the Guild feels that pharmacists are underutilised in the Victorian health system. Our submission to the committee concentrated on the potential of and benefits of; pharmacist delivered influenza immunisation, minor ailment schemes and screening and risk assessment services that are appropriately recognised and remunerated to deliver positive health outcomes and reduce burdens on an already stretched healthcare system.”
Mr Tassone was pleased at the level of collaboration between the PSA and the Guild in preparation of submissions and evidence for the inquiry.
“The Guild and PSA are strongly committed to working collaboratively to ensure not only the best outcomes for the mutual interests of our members, but most importantly, the healthcare of all Victorians.”
The transcripts of the evidence given by the PSA and Guild (with accompanying presentations) are available here.
The submissions lodged by PSA and the Guild into the inquiry can be found (once received and listed by the Victorian Parliament) here.
Louise Reynolds (Pharmacy Guild) 03 9810 9999
Peter Waterman (PSA) 0487 922 176