Incoming Health Minister should champion safe and quality use of medicines
Tuesday 31 May 2022
The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA) welcomes the announcement of the Hon. Mark Butler MP as Minister for Health and Aged Care, and Emma McBride MP MPS as Assistant Minister for Regional and Rural Health under the Albanese Labor Government.
PSA National President, A/Prof Chris Freeman, says he looks forward to working with the new Federal Government to ensure pharmacists’ voices are being heard.
“We look forward to continuing our productive relationship with the Australian Labor Party, in particular with incoming Minister for Health and Aged Care, the Hon. Mark Butler MP,” he said.
“I would also like to congratulate fellow pharmacist and PSA member, Emma McBride MP MPS on her appointment as Assistant Minister for Regional and Rural Health.
“As one of Australia’s key frontline health professionals, pharmacists share the drive to deliver world-class healthcare to all Australians.
“PSA is ready to work with the Minister to progress the funding of onsite aged care pharmacists and ensuring all Australians have access to fully funded National Immunisation Program (NIP) vaccines, including influenza vaccinations.
“Patients still face out of pocket costs to receive an influenza vaccination under the NIP if delivered by a pharmacist, whilst this same service is subsidised if done at a general practice.
“It must also be a priority for the incoming Minister for Health and Aged Care to ensure that there is a consistent approach to the NIP vaccines and that all Australians can access fully funded vaccinations from their local pharmacist.”
A/Prof Freeman pointed to workforce shortages and pharmacist retention as one of the major challenges facing the sector.
“There are consistent challenges in recruiting and retaining pharmacists across all sectors, with many choosing to leave pharmacy because of low base rates of pay,” he said.
“We need investment in a whole of profession workforce strategy so that we can sustainably meet all the exciting opportunities in front of the profession, while provide rewarding careers, both professionally and financially.
“PSA has a long history of working with governments at all levels to achieve better outcomes for Australian pharmacists and their communities, and we look forward to continuing that work with the incoming ALP Health team,” A/Prof Freeman concluded.
Media contact: PSA media 0424 777 463