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Medical Health Aged Care

Pharmacists key to stronger primary care

Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA) 3 mins read

18 September 2023

As the first phase of consultation opens for the Federal Government’s Unleashing the Potential of our Health Workforce Review (previously known as the “Scope of Practice Review), the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA) is reaffirming its commitment to supporting pharmacists’ roles across the health system.

PSA National President Dr Fei Sim FPS said that all pharmacists in all specialty areas of practice must be empowered to work to their top of scope.

Pharmacists practising to their top of scope is the key to stronger primary care,” Dr Sim said.

We know that complex medicine use is on the rise, that more Australians are hospitalised due to medication misadventure, and that these trends will continue as our population ages. Allowing all pharmacists to work to our top of scope is critical to reducing medicine harm across the health system.

“We also know that we have a GP access crisis. Pharmacists, if fully supported, can go a long way to add to health system capacity, significantly improve timely access to primary health care by 26 million people who live in Australia.

“It is essential that we bring to light the full potential and worth of a pharmacist. The review should reveal the barriers impeding pharmacists practising to top of scope and remove the unnecessary and inequitable red tape hindering Australians from receiving pharmacists’ care.

PSA is continuing to support pharmacists practising in specialised roles, including comprehensive medication management reviews like Home Medicines Review undertaken by credentialed pharmacists. As our scope of practice continues to evolve, we need to see pharmacists contributing to quality use of medicines and medicines safety wherever medicines are used.

Chair of PSA’s Community of Speciality Interest – Interdisciplinary Team-Based Care Debbie Rigby FPS is particularly encouraging credentialed pharmacists to contribute to PSA’s submissions to the review.

“The Federal Government’s workforce review is an opportunity to highlight how credentialed pharmacists can better help optimise medication management to the full extent of their skills and training,” Ms Rigby said.

“There are many opportunities and hopes for the future including current and emerging models of care.

Home Medicines Reviews and Residential Medication Management Reviews now have more than 25 years of practice and are entrenched in general practice, as well as clinical guidelines and resources.

“A growing number of pharmacists are working collaboratively in aged care, general practice and disability services. The Medical Services Advisory Committee (MSAC) supports funding pharmacists in First Nations Primary Health Services, and we are eagerly awaiting the implementation of the aged care on-site pharmacists program.

“However, there are still problems with access and equity across all communities, including regional, rural and remote areas and disadvantaged populations. The evolution of medication reviews requires some blue sky thinking and strong advocacy.

“Many credentialed pharmacists have a wealth of experience and have built strong and trusted relationships with GPs on the ground. I’m pleased PSA is supporting credentialed pharmacists, listening to their views and strongly advocating for their interests.

Ms Rigby encourages all credentialed pharmacists to join the Interdisciplinary Team-Based Care CSI group on Facebook, and share their views and experiences to inform PSA’s advocacy.

Dr Sim further urges all pharmacists to remain united during critical times of change in the profession.

Join the ITBC CSI group here.

 

Media contact:   Georgia Clarke   M: 0480 099 798      E: georgia.clarke@psa.org.au

The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia is the only national peak body that represents all of Australia’s 36,000 pharmacists across all practice settings. We want every Australian to have access to the best healthcare, and this must include optimising access to pharmacists’ knowledge and medicines expertise at the forefront of our healthcare system.

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