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Returning to Spirit

It is widely acknowledged that culturally appropriate and holistic health delivery systems improve health outcomes.

 

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and communities are diverse. This diversity includes distinct language, kinship and cultural traditions, religious beliefs, family responsibilities and personal histories and experiences. Importantly, this diversity also extends to the health needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and community.1

Evidence shows that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are more likely to access health services where service providers communicate respectfully, build good relationships, have an awareness of the underlying social issues, as well as some understanding of culture, and where Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are part of the health care team.2

Given the cultural sensitivities surrounding death for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, it is important that cultural beliefs and practices are acknowledged and accommodated during the palliative and end-of-life care journey.

 

When Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are diagnosed with a life-limiting illness, or are approaching the end of their life, they should be able to access quality palliative and supportive care that is consistent with their wishes. By engaging in culturally appropriate, safe and sensitive palliative care communication with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander members of your community, you can provide support in a way that meets the needs of each individual.

 

Cultural safety is everyone’s business!

A range of materials exists to assist you in your lifelong cultural learning, including education opportunities, resources and reports.

Gwandalan National Palliative Care:

The Gwandalan Project does not address clinical palliative care content but rather, supports the provision of culturally safe and responsive palliative care by upskilling frontline staff to contextualise care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, and deliver services in a way which supports a good ‘finishing up’.

 

Education and training materials for the Gwandalan Project aim to support relationships between service providers, frontline staff and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Communities through cross-cultural education and the sharing of knowledge. This will be achieved through the provision of education and training to support increased capacity in those who care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples during their palliative and end-of-life journey.

 

Access to all Gwandalan education and training materials is free of charge, thanks to funding by the Australian Government under the Public Health and Chronic Disease Care Grant, National Palliative Care Projects.

 

Final Footprints: My Culture, My Kinship, My Country:

(approximately 12 minutes). Said in their own words, four (4) interviews are held with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people representing their communities outlining different perspectives on ‘palliative care’ and death and dying’. Nations represented are Torres Strait Islands, Kaurna Narungga, Yawuru, and Narungga. This video resource was developed in collaboration with Palliative Care South Australia.

 

Having a Yarn – Final Footprints: My Culture, My Kinship, My Country:

(approximately 60 minutes). ABC presenter Dan Bourchier launches the video Final Footprints: My Culture, My Kinship, My Country (included in this video) and hosts a discussion with three highly esteemed Aboriginal people who have both ‘lived experience’ and work professionally within Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities to explore the importance of palliative care to our First Nations’ peoples.

 

Indigenous Program of Experience in the Palliative Approach (IPEPA)

IPEPA is a grassroots approach to breaking down the barriers to palliative care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples across Australia. The program seeks to build the capacity of our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander workforce to deliver palliative care, and also to support the culturally-responsive capabilities of mainstream service providers to provide holistic and safe palliative care to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. Click for link

 

Palliative Care Curriculum for Undergraduates PCC4U (new toolkit):

Topic 2 (Australian Indigenous Peoples) and Topic 4 (Culture-centred Care) may be especially useful. Click for link

 

Also the newly-released Focus Topic 2 (Caring for Australian Indigenous peoples affected by life-limiting illness), which will help learners to develop the skills needed to provide quality care, across various settings, to Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people with life-limiting illness, and their families and communities. Click for link

 

caring@home for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Families

The aim of this project is to support the provision of palliative care at home for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. When care at home is preferred, it can be provided to help connect family, culture, community, country and the spiritual wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

 

Includes resources to assist Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who choose to be cared for and remain at home for the final stage of their life-course. Click for link

 

Palliative Care Australia (PCA):

Palliative Care Australia (PCA) aims to improve the quality of life of all Australians living with a life-limiting illness/condition and their families, and represents all who work in palliative care services. They have developed resources to assist the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples, their communities, and health professionals working within communities to ensure approaches and practises are culturally safe and respectful. Click for link

 

‘Into the Dreaming’: A Palliative Care Guide for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people through ‘Sorry Business’

This resource kit was developed in NSW to provide culturally sensitive, respectful, responsive and appropriate methods of communication when dealing with health care and Sorry Business with Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander people. Intended to help local Aboriginal communities feel more welcome in palliative care settings and start inclusive and culturally appropriate conversations about end of life planning. Click for link

 

IPEPA Resource Directory: IPEPA Culturally-Responsive Palliative Care Workshop

Resources include reading materials, videos and activities Click for link

 

Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet

The Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet Palliative care and end-of-life portal is designed to assist the health workforce who provide care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, their families and communities. It seeks to support both clinicians and policy-makers in accessing resources, research and projects on palliative and end-of-life care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Click for link

 

CareSearch (Flinders Uni SA)

This site brings together a range of resources and information to help the health care workforce and carers in providing palliative care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, acknowledging that culturally safe and responsive care is an essential part of good care. Click for link

 

Queensland Centre for Palliative Care Research & Education (CPCRE)

CPCRE aims to increase health professionals’ understanding of the needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients and families, and increase knowledge about palliative care amongst Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Workers, Liaison Officers and other health professionals. Click for link

 

Palliative Care Queensland

Click for link

Includes Queensland Health’s ‘Sad News, Sorry Business: Guidelines for caring for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people through death and dying’, researched and developed by the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Cultural Capability Team. Click for link

 

Also includes a toolkit aimed at providing quality and user-friendly resources to support appropriate palliative care provision for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

 

The Yarning about Sad News and Sorry Business – An Engagement and Consultation Toolkit was developed in collaboration with Health Consumers Queensland, gathered insights and perspectives from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples living in Queensland on engagement and consultation processes in relation to palliative care. Click for link

 

palliAGED Palliative Care Aged Care Evidence – Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples

Includes resources which may be useful to those providing care to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, noting that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are a diverse group of peoples, made up of many different nations and language groups. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture is a living culture, made up of both contemporary and traditional practices. Click for link

 

Aboriginal Health and Medical Research Council of New South Wales (AH&MRC)

Click for link

The AH&MRC Resource Centre contains the downloadable My Journey to Dreaming Diary, which can be used by patients to keep personal and medical information in one place. Click for link

 

And also the Journey to Dreaming Toolkit, which to provide high quality information to help Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families and their healthcare workers provide family-centred palliative and end-of-life care for a loved one. It also contains some important information that might be useful for individuals needing end-of-life care. Click for link

Australian Government Department of Health Report (2019) on barriers and enablers to palliative care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people

Click for link

 

Australian Institute of Health and Wellness (AIHW) Regional insights for Indigenous Communities, with statistics available by community/region

Click for link

 

AIHW data (Sept 2021) by Primary Health Network (PHN) on Practice Incentive Program Quality Improvement (PIP QI) data for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people attending general practices

Click for link

References

  1. National Cultural Respect Framework for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health 2016-2026
  2. Australian Government, Department of Health 2014, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Curriculum Framework, Canberra: Commonwealth of Australia

World Immunisation Week: Long Life for All – In pursuit of a long life well lived

Sunday 24th April 2022

 

Today, 24th April, marks the start of World Immunisation Week, an occasion dedicated to encouraging the use of vaccines to protect people of all ages against disease.

 

Second only to clean drinking water, vaccination is one of the most important health interventions to reduce mortality. The positive impact on human health is difficult to overestimate.

 

A/Prof Chris Freeman, National President of the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia, acknowledged this important period, praising all of Australia’s authorised immunisers.

 

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of Australia’s immunisers, especially our pharmacist immunisers, for your vaccination efforts over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

“COVID-19 aside, our nation’s immunisers have gone above and beyond for their patients and communities to ensure that Australians are keeping up to date with all vaccinations, during a time when traditional primary healthcare arrangements have been altered drastically.

 

“The theme of World Immunisation Week this year is Long Life for All – In pursuit of a long life well lived, perfectly capturing what we, as pharmacist immunisers, are helping achieve, with every vaccine we administer.

 

“Over 6.8 million COVID-19 vaccine doses have now been administered by pharmacists through local pharmacies, and many, many more have been administered in hubs, hospitals, general practice and Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations (ACCHOs).

 

“With the influenza season now in full swing, pharmacists have already made significant progress in the national vaccination campaign, where they have now administered over 275,000 influenza vaccines in 2022.”

 

He went on call for better access to all vaccinations from pharmacists.

 

“The benefits of vaccination on human health are clear, but still, barriers to vaccine access remain.

 

“Only a small selection of vaccinations are available from pharmacists and there are still restrictions on the age and location they can be administered. We need to ensure all vaccinations are available, when and where people need them.

 

“Funding provided for vaccinations also creates barriers to access.

 

“As it stands, the public is unable to access the same level of subsidies for the administration of National Immunisation Program (NIP) vaccines when they visit their pharmacist compared to other vaccine providers. Unfortunately, this then leaves vulnerable population groups potentially out of pocket for a critical public health measure.

 

“With the Federal Election to taking place in less than a month, the incoming government must prioritise the equity of vaccine administration payments for the public accessing NIP vaccines, ensuring that immunisation programs can continue sustainably.

 

“Introducing a single MBS service payment to pharmacists for assessing suitability and administering vaccinations funded through the NIP will ensure that vaccines such as COVID-19 and influenza remain viable when administered by a pharmacist, and dramatically reduce out of pocket costs for patients.

 

“Failure to remunerate pharmacists for these services makes it harder for people to be protected and limits uptake, factors which will have dire consequences on the health and wellbeing of the population,” A/Prof Freeman said.

 

Over the coming months, PSA is committed to working with the incoming government to tackling barriers precluding access to vaccination through Australia’s frontline healthcare workforce, pharmacists.

 

 

Media contact: PSA media 0424 777 463

PSA welcomes greater vaccine access for West Australians

21 April 2022

 

The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia’s (PSA) WA Branch welcomes the expansion of the state’s vaccination program, announced today by WA Health Minister Amber-Jade Sanderson.

 

WA pharmacist immunisers will soon be able to administer National Immunisation Program (NIP) vaccinations, including influenza vaccines to children aged 5 years and over, who are eligible under the program.

 

In addition, adolescents will have greater access to vaccines including human papillomavirus (HPV), diphtheria-tetanus-acellular pertussis (dTpa), meningococcal ACWY, measles-mumps-rubella and COVID vaccinations, with pharmacists to be allowed to administer all of these vaccines in line with the state immunisation schedule.
PSA WA Branch President, Keegan Wong, welcomed the move.

 

“This is great news for Western Australian parents, with the program’s expansion now meaning that their children can get vaccinated against the flu by their local pharmacist.

 

“With the flu season now in full swing, we need to do everything we can to protect Australian children, who can be influenza super-spreaders, by increasing access to vaccination and providing them and their families with optimal protection against this deadly disease.

 

“School holidays are a great opportunity for kids to come in for their COVID-19 and influenza vaccines on the same day, so strike while the iron’s hot and make an appointment for the whole family today through your local pharmacy.

 

“It also pleasing that state’s vaccination program will soon include vaccination against HPV along with further alignment of age eligibility, and we commend the McGowan Government for this move.

 

PSA will continue to work closely with the WA Government to improve accessibility to the seasonal influenza vaccine, ultimately improving access for vulnerable Western Australians.

 

“It is critical that governments continue to remove barriers to vaccination and align the funding and regulation of pharmacist-administered vaccinations with that of all other authorised immunisers and today’s announcement is a step in the right direction,” Mr Wong said.

 

PSA will also work with the incoming federal government to further reduce financial barriers to vaccination by seeking an MBS service payment to pharmacists for administering National Immunisation Program (NIP) vaccines, including COVID-19 vaccines.

 

 

Media contact: PSA media 0424 777 463

‘The most important election in decades’: Incoming government must prioritise consumer access to pharmacist services.

Sunday 10 April 2022

 

Ahead of what has been dubbed as the most important election in decades, the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA) is renewing calls to prioritise better consumer access to care through fairer remuneration for pharmacist delivered services.

 

Today, the Prime Minister has confirmed that the 2022 Federal Election will be held on Saturday 21st May.

 

PSA National President, A/Prof Chris Freeman, demanded that both major parties look to address inequitable consumer access to care as a matter of priority for the incoming government.

 

“The Australian public and pharmacists have faced immense challenges and pressures over the past 24 months. Now, more than ever, is the time to ensure that access to health care remains universal, particularly for the most vulnerable of the population. Consumers need subsidised access to care at the health setting and their qualified health professional of choice.

 

“Consumers face out of pocket expenses for the administration of the influenza vaccination under the National Immunisation Program (NIP) if delivered by their pharmacist, whereas, receive subsidies if done at a general practice. It is unacceptable for a consumer not to receive this subsidy for exactly the same service delivered by a qualified health professional in a setting of their choice.

 

“When it comes to case conferences, a critical multidisciplinary process for ensuring quality of care, pharmacists are the only allied health provider that government does not remunerate for their time and participation. This is unacceptable, and at the end of the day, Australians are losing out.

 

“Introducing a Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) payment to pharmacists for administering NIP vaccines, and a separate MBS rebate for pharmacists to be remunerated for participating multidisciplinary case conferences, would increase consumer access to pharmacist skills and expertise.

 

“If these pay disparities continue to exist, it will have dire consequences on Australia’s healthcare system, ultimately leaving patients out of pocket.

 

“We are six weeks out from one of the most important Federal Elections, and the Government’s pandemic response and outlook for the healthcare system will be under the microscope once again. The successful party must rectify these inequalities as a matter of priority, keeping consumers front and centre of their decision making.

 

“It is absolutely critical that the incoming government places consumers at the forefront of their policy decisions, ensuring that pharmacists can continue to deliver essential services which have kept Australians safe during this unprecedented period of uncertainty,” he said.

 

Over the coming months, PSA, the peak body representing Australian pharmacists, is committed to working with the incoming government to tackle these challenges, improving access to pharmacist delivered care and ensuring Australian’s get the care they need, when and where they need it.

PSA welcomes new Tasmanian Premier

Friday 8th April 2022

 

The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia’s (PSA) Tasmania Branch welcomes the appointment of Jeremy Rockliff MP as Premier of Tasmania and Michael Ferguson MP as the state’s Deputy Premier.

 

This morning, Jeremy Rockliff MP, previously serving as Tasmania’s Minister for Health, was appointed Premier of Tasmania, replacing Peter Gutwein MP.

 

PSA Tasmania Branch President, David Peachey, congratulated Premier Rockliff and thanked the outgoing Premier for his service.

 

“I congratulate the incoming Premier and Deputy Premier on their appointments respectively, and PSA looks forward continuing our positive and collaborative relationship with the Tasmanian Government.

 

“Premier Rockliff’s experience, particularly in the health portfolio, serving as Deputy Premier, Minister for Health and Minister for Mental Health and Wellbeing, will serve the state well into the future.

 

“PSA also thanks former Premier, Peter Gutwein, for his support of pharmacists and Tasmania’s healthcare system throughout his tenure.

 

“His leadership has played a critical role in keeping Tasmanians safe throughout the pandemic, and keeping the COVID-19 infection rate low for such a long period of time.

 

“We wish him and his family all the best for the future,” Mr Peachey said.

 

 

Media contact: PSA media 0424 777 463

Australian first: Influenza vaccine now available for 5 years and older from pharmacists, but over 65’s still missing out.

Wednesday 6th March 2022

 

The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia’s (PSA) Queensland Branch welcomes increased access to the influenza vaccine for Queensland children, but is deeply concerned this is only temporary and that barriers to access still remain for those aged 65 and over.

 

Under emergency health orders, Queensland pharmacists can now administer influenza vaccines to children 5 years and over in any Australian Government and Queensland Government controlled COVID-19 vaccination service, including community pharmacies, medical centres, hospitals, Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations (ACCHOs), aged care and disability centres.

 

PSA Queensland Branch President, Shane MacDonald, welcomed this Australian first move but was frustrated that access for an equally susceptible cohort remains restricted.

 

“This is a sensible change, and not a moment too soon.

 

“Children can be influenza super-spreaders and vaccination is the best line of defence for themselves and those around them.

 

“The upcoming school holidays are a great opportunity for kids to come in for their COVID-19 and influenza vaccines on the same day. Flu vaccines are available now, so make an appointment for the whole family today through your local pharmacy.

 

“Despite leading in the protection of children, the Queensland Government now needs to act to support those over the age of 65 to access National Immunisation Program flu vaccines from pharmacies.

 

“Right now, Queenslanders aged 65 years are unable to access the recommended vaccine for their age from their pharmacy, with the Queensland Government denying access to the National Immunisation Program to pharmacies, something that the rest of the country is supporting this year.

 

“Experts anticipate that the severity of influenza will be highly unpredictable this year, and the season will soon be in full swing. By failing to allow pharmacists, our most accessible healthcare workforce, to vaccinate older Queenslanders, these people are being significantly disadvantaged.

 

“It makes no sense that a mum can bring her kids into the pharmacy for their flu vaccine, but grandma and grandpa can’t join them. Why do they need to join the queue at a government clinic, or make an appointment with a GP?

 

“We must join the rest of the country by removing barriers to vaccination and aligning the funding and regulation of pharmacist-administered vaccinations with that of all other authorised immunisers,” Mr MacDonald said.

 

PSA will continue to work closely with the Queensland Government to improve accessibility to the seasonal influenza vaccine, ultimately improving access for vulnerable Queenslanders.

 

 

Media contact: PSA media 0424 777 463

Outstanding SA pharmacists recognised!

Friday 1st April 2022

 

Outstanding pharmacists have been recognised at the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia’s (PSA) SA Pharmacy Awards conference held this evening in Adelaide.

 

These awards acknowledge and celebrate the contributions of outstanding SA and NT pharmacists through the Gold Medal, Intern Pharmacist of the Year, Early Career Pharmacist (ECP) of the Year, Pharmacist of the Year and Lifetime Achievement awards.

 

This year’s award winners are as follows:

 

  • Gold Medal: Mikah Peterson MPS
  • Intern Pharmacist of the Year: Lauren Fraser MPS
  • Early Career Pharmacist of the Year: Julian Soriano MPS
  • Pharmacist of the Year: Kylie Van Rooijen MPS
  • Lifetime Achievement Award: Kingsley Coulthard FPS

 

PSA’s SA Branch President, Robyn Johns, congratulated the winners on their success and highlighted their contributions.

 

“Over the past two years, our pharmacists have gone over and above for their communities, and on behalf of the PSA, I thank them for supporting the health and wellbeing of South Australians.

 

“I congratulate this year’s award recipients for their significant contribution to the pharmacy profession, excelling themselves and advancing pharmacy practice across the state,” she said.

 

Mikah Peterson, currently undertaking her internship with SA Pharmacy, within the Southern Adelaide Local Health Network (SALHN), was awarded the Gold Medal.

 

“Following clinical placements at TerryWhite Chemmart Christies Guild and Flinders Medical Centre, Mikah undertook an 8-week research project in her final year of study at the University of South Australia with the Medication Safety Committee at SALHN. The project assessed nurses’ understanding of high-risk medications such as high dose insulin and auditing sedation score monitoring following the administration of opioids.

 

“Mikah has demonstrated a passion for pharmacy practice and intends to continue working as a hospital pharmacist, and evidently, has a promising career ahead of her,” Ms Johns said.

 

Lauren Fraser was awarded Intern Pharmacist of the Year for her commitment to patient care, initiative in service delivery and professional engagement.

 

“Lauren’s internship was divided between University of South Australia research and community pharmacy, during a complex and demanding 2021. Despite this, she excelled in both fields.

 

“She allocated time to developing professional partnerships, designing progressive pharmacy tools, services and research, and donated much of her time to supporting patients and co-workers with their health.

 

“Lauren has developed partnerships with many external groups including Sonder and Asthma Australia, co-designing grant applications with each to further pharmacy practice, both of which are being progressed, and supported a successful local COVID-19 immunisation event for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

 

“I congratulate Lauren on her achievement and will be watching her career with great interest,” she said.

 

Julian Soriano was awarded Early Career Pharmacist of the Year for his commitment to aged care and palliative care pharmacy.

 

“Through his work as an embedded aged care pharmacist, Julian has been at the forefront of establishing the critical role that pharmacists can play in residential aged care facilities. His work in this space has been integral to securing $345.7 million in Federal Government funding for the embedding of pharmacists in these facilities, as announced last week.

 

“Julian’s willingness to share knowledge and advocate for pharmacists demonstrates his dedication to improving the lives of older Australians through better medication and health management.

 

“Through setting up regular multidisciplinary team case conferencing meetings, Julian has contributed to advances in medicines safety. He has initiated pharmacists’ role in the palliative care team for residents in RACFs through collaborating with community pharmacy to improve end-of-life care for residents, establishing a network and communication pathway between specialist palliative care services and local pharmacy services.

 

“He truly is a pioneer of multidisciplinary pharmacy practice and is thoroughly deserving of this award,” she said.

 

Port Lincoln-based community pharmacist and trainee educator, Kylie Van Rooijen, was named Pharmacist of the Year for outstanding service to SA pharmacy, spanning over a 30-year period.

 

“As a key member of the PSA and CountrySA PHN project, Kylie also works in the Boston Bay Family Health Clinic where she provides a range of services including medication reviews, advice and education, and liaison between the general practice, hospitals and community pharmacy.

 

“A self-proclaimed medication translator, Kylie reconciles hospital discharge summaries with general practice health records and conducts patient consultations, helping to reduce the possibility of medication problems. Such problems include treatment courses not being completed, or a person failing to restart taking vital medications which they were taken off during their hospital stay.

 

“Kylie believes that it is imperative for pharmacists to keep up-to-date with practice guideline and regulatory changes, and through this role, she can ensure that this information is easily accessible for GPs and registrars, freeing up their time to focus on patient care.

 

“A fierce advocate for equity in healthcare, Kylie works at the Port Lincoln Aboriginal Health Centre, in a role she created for herself. Determined to make a difference to the lives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, the impact she has had on their patients and practice has been significant, so-much-so that the clinic opted to keep her on two days a week.

 

“Also training as a diabetes educator, Kylie’s commitment to furthering pharmacy practice in South Australia has been exceptional, attracting and inspiring future generations of pharmacists.

 

The University of South Australia’s, Adj A/Prof Kingsley Coulthard FPS, was presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award for half a century of service to South Australian pharmacy.

 

“Kingsley, hospital pharmacist and nationally-recognised advocate for equity of access for children, to safe and effective medicines, has received this year’s Lifetime Achievement Award for more than 50 years of service to the profession.

 

“He commenced his pharmacy career at the Adelaide Children’s Hospital in 1971, working in paediatrics in Australia and overseas until his retirement as Director of Pharmacy at the Adelaide Women’s and Children’s Hospital in 2010.

 

“His main research and clinical interests have been in the area of paediatric therapeutics, in particular, relating to asthma and cystic fibrosis. He is also a member of the paediatric writing group for the Australian Asthma Handbook and a member of the Asthma Australia Advisory Committee.

 

“In 2009, Kingsley received the SHPA’s Fred J Boyd Award. This biannual award is presented to a hospital pharmacist who has made an outstanding contribution to hospital pharmacy. He also served as a member of the PSA SA/NT Branch Committee from 2014 to 2021.

 

“More recently, he has been involved in the education of pharmacy students and interns and is an examiner for the Australian Pharmacy Council. He has a major interest in the challenges of rural and remote pharmacy practice and continues to work in that area as a locum, conducting home medicines reviews on the Yorke Peninsula,” Ms Johns said.

 

PSA congratulates all winners on their achievements and thanks them for their service to pharmacy in South Australia.

 

 

Media contact: PSA media 0424 777 463

Budget supports embedding pharmacists in aged care but ignores pay disparities for pharmacists’ services

Tuesday 29 March 2022

 

The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA) welcomes funding for embedding pharmacists into aged care but is disappointed that unfair disparities in pharmacist remuneration for key services have been overlooked in this year’s Federal Budget.

 

PSA National President, A/Prof Chris Freeman, was frustrated that no commitments were made to improving remuneration for pharmacists’ services in tonight’s Federal Budget.

 

“Whilst we are delighted that the Minister has recognised the important role that pharmacists play, by recently announcing $345.7 million in funding to embed pharmacists in aged care facilities, the fact that fair remuneration for services that pharmacists provide has once again been overlooked by the Government is a bitter pill to swallow.

 

“Despite the immense pressure they’ve been subjected to over the past 24 months and the overwhelming appreciation shown by politicians on Thank Your Pharmacist Day two weeks ago, the Government will continue to significantly undervalue pharmacists for their services for the foreseeable future.

 

“The Government’s failure to rectify these inequalities is unacceptable, and is a slap in the face for pharmacists who kept on delivering during the pandemic. In our Federal Budget Submission, PSA highlighted two key pharmacist services which require immediate financial support – case conferencing and vaccinations.

 

“As it stands, pharmacists are the only health provider that the Government does not remunerate for their time and participation in case conferencing. In addition to this, pharmacists are being remunerated at a significantly lower rate than other providers for providing exactly the same vaccination services, including vaccinations against COVID-19.

 

“Introducing an MBS service payment to pharmacists for administering National Immunisation Program vaccines, and a separate MBS rebate for pharmacists to be remunerated for multidisciplinary case conferences, would increase consumer access to pharmacist expertise and skills.

 

“We welcome the Government’s commitment to funding pharmacist roles in aged care, and this initiative will present new and exciting career opportunities for Australian pharmacists. However, if these pay disparities continue to exist, it will have dire consequences on Australian healthcare, jeopardising the future of the pharmacist workforce.

 

“Ahead of the Federal Election, we are calling on the incoming government to prioritise these concerns, improving conditions for pharmacists and ensuring that Australians can continue to access high-quality, accessible care,” he said.

 

A/Prof Freeman went on to acknowledge the Government’s commitment to reducing the cost of medicines, but again, much more work must be done.

 

“In a budget aimed at tackling the cost of living, PSA agrees with the Pharmacy Guild of Australia that reducing PBS Safety Net thresholds does not adequately address the rising cost of prescription medicines,” A/Prof Freeman said.

 

Concession card holders will need 12 fewer prescriptions to reach the safety net, and general patients approximately 2 fewer scripts.

 

PSA also welcomes the commitment of $19.6 million to a national take-home naloxone program, following a successful pilot where pharmacists enhanced access to this life-saving rescue medicine.

 

Over the coming months, PSA is committed to working with the current and incoming government to tackle these challenges that Australian pharmacists face.

 

Media contact: PSA media 0424 777 463

Australians now reassured they will have access to essential medicines in their next emergency

Friday 25 March 2022

 

The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA) strongly supports today’s announcement that continued dispensing arrangements will become permanent later this year.

 

This morning, the Minister for Health and Ageing, the Hon Greg Hunt, announced that from 1 July 2021, continued dispensing arrangements, currently set to expire on 30 June, will become permanent across Australia.

 

PSA National President, A/Prof Chris Freeman, applauded the development.

 

“From the 1st of July this year, a permanent measure will come into effect which ensures that Australians can continue to access essential medicines during times of an emergency. We applaud the Government making these common-sense arrangements permanent.

 

“Whether it be a pandemic, flood, bushfire, or a family tragedy, this provides Australians with confidence they can access their essential medicines when they may not be able to access their prescriptions or a doctor.

 

“Being able to access PBS subsidy for emergency supply of medicines is vital to ensuring patients are not hit with out-of-pocket costs during vulnerable times.

 

“These emergency measures have clearly been successful throughout the pandemic. Over an 18-month period, between January 2020 and the end of June 2021, more than 600,000 vital medicines were accessed under these provisions.

 

“After a tumultuous few years of natural disasters and five temporary extensions to the measures, this was the logical and sensible step to take – particularly given no major problems have been identified.

 

“PSA’s standards and guidelines have proved critical to helping the profession navigate the expanded provisions throughout the pandemic.

 

“Now it’s up to state and territory governments to enable this by ensuring that regulations and barriers currently precluding these arrangements are removed,” A/Prof Freeman said.

 

PSA will continue to work closely with all governments to progress and implement nationally consistent emergency supply provisions.

 

Media contact: PSA media 0424 777 463

 

Support for pharmacists

Tasmanian pharmacists now eligible to vaccinate children against COVID-19

Friday 25th March 2022

 

The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia’s (PSA) Tasmanian Branch has welcomed the announcement that pharmacist immunisers in Tasmania are now eligible to protect the state’s children against COVID-19.

 

Today, Premier Gutwein confirmed changes to allow the provision of COVID-19 vaccinations for children aged 5-11 through local pharmacies.

 

PSA Tasmania Branch President, David Peachey, said immunity in Tasmania’s young people is the missing link at the moment and pharmacists can play a key role in protecting this important population.

 

“This is welcomed news for Tasmania’s pharmacist immunisers, who will now be able to opt-in to provide COVID-19 vaccinations to this paediatric cohort.

 

“We are delighted that the state will now be brought in line with the rest of the nation, improving access to vaccination for families residing in regional parts of the state.

 

“It is imperative that all Tasmanian children can access COVID-19 vaccinations from pharmacists, Australia’s most accessible healthcare workforce, in order to keep themselves, their families and the community safe.

 

“Vaccination is the best way to ensure that these susceptible populations and their families are protected against the virus, and soon, they’ll have the convenient option of protecting themselves through local pharmacies.

 

“Our pharmacists are trained and experienced in vaccinating younger age groups against other vaccine-preventable diseases and are now on standby to protect them against COVID-19.

 

“Authorised immunisers must have successfully completed the mandatory vaccine training provided by the Department of Health, including all the relevant vaccine-specific modules for vaccines available through the pharmacy program,” Mr Peachey said.

 

PSA continues to work closely with the TGA and ATAGI to ensure pharmacists are equipped with the most up-to-date advice regarding vaccine safety and effectiveness.

 

Media contact: PSA media 0424 777 463