Pharmacists Call for Stability
Wednesday 10 March 2021
Western Australia’s community pharmacists have called on political parties to ensure the ongoing role of pharmacy in meeting the vital health needs of the State’s communities around medicine security, vaccinations and mental health issues.
In the run up to this Saturday’s WA election, PSA’s State President, Dr Fei Sim, has called on the Labor Party, Liberal Party, Nationals and Greens, to outline their position on a number of key community health issues.
Dr Sim asked the parties to advise their position on the following issues:
* Improved access to vaccinations to protect Western Australians against vaccine-preventable infectious diseases, including hepatitis, polio, pneumococcal and COVID-19.
* Ensuring timely access to medicines through continued dispensing.
* Fund Mental Health First Aid training for community pharmacists to connect vulnerable patients with care when they urgently need it.
* Allowing pharmacists to administer prescribed medicines to improve Western Australian patients’ management of complex health conditions.
“As the peak body representing the 3,423 Western Australian pharmacists, the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia is asking you to commit to improving the health and wellness of all Western Australians through these pharmacist-related initiatives,” Dr Sim said.
WA Premier, Mark McGowan, said his Government recognises pharmacists as key stakeholders in the development of health policy and important providers of primary health care.
Mr McGowan said Labor will continue to work with pharmacists to expand the community pharmacy immunisation program, ensure that pharmacists are involved in the current review of WA’s medicine supply chain, and work with pharmacists advocating to the Commonwealth to retain the temporary medicines dispensing changes introduced through the COVID-19 pandemic period.
Nationals’ leader, Mia Davies, offered “in-principle” support to the initiatives the PSA had proposed, particularly as her party was the only one with a sole focus on regional issues and constituents.
Ms Davies advised of a number of proposed health-related policy funding initiatives for regional mental health services ($140m), regional men’s health initiative ($4m), women’s wellness and health services ($15m) and $40 million for country paramedics, sub-centres and volunteers.
Greens’ health spokesperson, Alison Xamon, responded to the specific requests, saying the Greens’ will support legislation and actions to increase funding for immunisation programs, and push for a review of the COVID-19 response to inform ongoing regulation and future planning for medicines dispensing.
“We support the provision of mental health workplace interventions including mental health first aid training and the allocation of specific funding for this purpose,” Ms Xamon said.
The Greens also said the hospital system needed to move from “a reactive, acute hospital-based system to one with a strong focus on prevention, equity, early child health and end-of-life care” in the community.
* * * * * * *
Media contact: PSA media 0487 922 176