Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ health care statement advocates for improved equity of access
14 April 2023
The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA) has today launched its Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ health care position statement, recognising culturally safe care and equity of health care access as critical drivers to improving health outcomes.
The statement was drafted in consultation with the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO), reaffirming the importance of genuine partnerships and shared decision-making.
In collaboration, PSA and NACCHO have pioneered onsite pharmacists within their network, a program that has been successful and we will continue to work to make this service available to as many patients as possible.
PSA values its ongoing collaborative relationship with NACCHO and is committed to the principles of community control and self-determination of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. In co-design with NACCHO, PSA has delivered key initiatives including the IPAC trial and development of the Deadly Pharmacists Foundation Training Course to equip pharmacists with the skills needed to work within Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services.
PSA National President Dr Fei Sim FPS said that the statement demonstrates pharmacists’ commitment to enhancing the life expectancy, health and wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
“The 2022 Closing the Gap Annual Report highlighted that the target to close the health and life expectancy gap between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and non-Indigenous Australians within a generation, while trending in a positive direction, is not on track.
“This is something that needs to be urgently addressed not only by providing best practice care, but also increasing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander representation in the pharmacy workforce.
“Equitable access to high-quality and timely health care throughout life is essential for improving health outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
“All healthcare professionals have a responsibility to provide health care that is culturally responsive and safe for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians.
“On behalf of all pharmacists, PSA reaffirms our strong commitment to working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander bodies to provide the best support for our patients.”
The statement also reaffirms PSA’s longstanding support for the Uluru Statement from the Heart, which calls for a First Nations Voice to be enshrined in the Constitution and for a Makarrata Commission as a process for agreement-making and truth-telling.
“We wholeheartedly stand by our endorsement of the Uluru Statement from the Heart and continue to work closely with NACCHO and other Indigenous-led health organisations to equip our profession with the skills and tools to deliver appropriate care for all Australians.
“PSA is focussed on progressing work with pharmacists, government and the wider health sector to improve health outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples,” Dr Sim concluded.
The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ health care statement can be read here.