SA Health Sector must work together to improve patient access
19 December 2022
The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA) strongly rejects recent comments made by Australian Medical Association South Australia (AMA(SA)) that pharmacist prescribing pilots put patients at risk and calls on the AMA(SA) to work collaboratively with South Australian pharmacists to improve patient access to health care.
PSA SA/NT Branch President Veronika Seda MPS welcomed the Parliament of South Australia Select Committee inquiry on Access to Urinary Tract Infection Treatment.
“The Queensland Urinary Tract Infection Pharmacy Pilot (UTIPP-Q) has been undeniably successful, improving patient access to timely care.
“Pharmacists are registered health professionals with the same ethical and moral obligations as doctors. Pharmacists undergo a minimum of five-years’ training, as well as additional education and training so that they can provide the best possible care to their patients.
“Prescribing and dispensing are separate clinical activities. However, there are many examples where it is widely accepted that they can both be undertaken by the same clinician – whether this be vaccination, supply of Schedule 2 or Schedule 3 medicines – such as thrush treatments or medicines for migraines – or supply of a month’s prescription medicine in an emergency.’
“The common factor in all of these is strong clinical governance oversight, including professional standards, regulation, and program rules. A UTI program in South Australia would be no different.”
“Pharmacist prescribing trials conducted in other jurisdictions have shown pharmacists adhere to these strict protocols based on antimicrobial stewardship and best practice guidelines. Referral to a GP, where appropriate, is embedded into the protocol.
“Measures such as pharmacist vaccinations and pharmacist prescribing improve safe access to care. There is incredible demand on doctors, especially for complex presentations and chronic disease management.
“It is time for doctors’ groups to put aside turf wars and work with other healthcare professionals to find better ways to support patients, because patients deserve timely access to care – they should not be disadvantaged based on their location, health or social status.
PSA remains committed to working collaboratively with the entire health sector to deliver best outcomes for patients.
Media contact: Candice Burch M: 0403 973 097 E: firstname.lastname@example.org