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Healthcare reforms must maximise potential of pharmacists: PSA

07 June, 2016

Exploring innovative models of interprofessional care and better utilising the role of pharmacists in healthcare are cost-effective, evidence-based reforms an elected Federal Government should consider, the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA) said recently.

These key health reforms as well as providing culturally-responsive pharmacist services in Aboriginal Health Services and adopting preventative health measures are outlined in PSA's Election Manifesto 2016, highlighting the integral role pharmacists can play in national healthcare reform.

Launching the manifesto Utilising Pharmacists to Achieve Better Health for Australians, PSA National President Joe Demarte said pharmacists are highly-accessible, qualified health professionals however their knowledge and expertise often go under-utilised.

"Health policy experts have acknowledged pharmacists are well-trained, have expertise in medicines and are located in communities throughout Australia but their role is more limited in Australia than in many other countries," Demarte said.

"Australia is lagging behind implementing innovative care models which makes the best use of the unique skills and expertise of pharmacists to prevent and manage chronic and complex conditions.

"As a result, PSA has called on the incoming Government to ensure that pharmacists' skills are maximised to contribute to better health outcomes for all Australians."

PSA's manifesto outlined five key reforms aimed at the incoming Government, which include:

  • Ensuring the Health Care Home initiative is appropriately funded and based on best practice, evidence-based models of care which utilise pharmacists.
  • Exploring interprofessional collaboration, particularly between general practitioners and pharmacists, for Australians with chronic and complex condition
  • Involving pharmacists in Residential Aged Care Facility (RACF) teams to reduce medication misadventure, medication error and resulting medication-related hospital admissions
  • Supporting culturally-responsive pharmacist care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to improve medication adherence and reduce chronic disease
  • Investing in preventive health programs delivered through the highly-accessible network of community pharmacies, including immunisation and smoking cessation services.

PSA has also called on the incoming Government to commit to ensuring that Australian community pharmacies remain viable and accessible hubs of preventive and primary health care.

Demarte said pharmacists must be better recognised as a key component of an effective Australian health care system.

"PSA is committed to working with the incoming Government to improve our nation's health through excellence in pharmacist care," Demarte said. "Therefore, optimising pharmacists' contribution in collaborative models of prevention and management of chronic disease has the capacity to significantly improve the health and well-being of all Australians."

To read PSA's Election Manifesto 2016, click here>>

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