Thank you to all of our pharmacists!
Thursday 17th March 2022
Today is Thank Your Pharmacist Day and the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA) is thanking all of Australia’s pharmacists for their efforts over the past two years.
Pharmacists have gone above and beyond for their patients and have been subjected to incredibly challenging conditions, many of which have not received the recognition they deserve.
PSA National President, A/Prof Chris Freeman, praised the impact pharmacists have had on Australia’s pandemic response and called for better recognition and fairer remuneration.
“I extend my sincere thanks to you – Australia’s pharmacists, from every walk of practice, and in every sector, who have been on the frontline since day one of this global health crisis. This day is for you.
“I commend all frontline pharmacists for their hard work, dedication and professionalism under immense pressure.
“With the swift pivot towards telehealth, many primary healthcare providers chose to close their doors. As a result, those seeking essential healthcare turned to pharmacists, one of Australia’s most trusted workforces.
“You couldn’t stay home. You had to contend with public panic, anxiety, rapidly changing regulations, medicine shortages all whilst workplace operations were turned upside-down. You also had to work with the fear of becoming sick, having serious implications on those close to you.
“Whether it be through vaccinations or ensuring continuity of access to essential medicines, you have all played a critical role in keeping Australians safe during the pandemic, and can take much of the credit for Australia’s remarkably low COVID-19 mortality rate,” he said.
He went on to call for a review into pharmacists’ roles within the primary healthcare environment.
“Despite going above and beyond for Australians, pharmacists are still bearing the brunt of unfair and inequitable pay discrepancies – they are losing out.
“If we look at remuneration for administering COVID-19 vaccinations, pharmacists are receiving substantially less than other immunisers for administering the same vaccine, an unfair pay disparity for providing exactly the same service.
“This could be resolved if the Government introduced a Medicare Benefits Scheme (MBS) payment to pharmacists for administering National Immunisation Program (NIP) vaccines, including COVID-19 vaccines.
“Besides vaccinations, pharmacists remain the only allied health providers who are not remunerated for their involvement in multidisciplinary case conferencing. Given the crucial role we play in medicine safety, it is essential that pharmacists be remunerated to participate alongside other members of the patient’s healthcare team.
“Government must ensure that patient safety is a priority by introducing a MBS rebate for pharmacists for their role in multidisciplinary case conferencing and deliver on the positive recommendation from the MBS Review Taskforce for this to occur.
“PSA is also calling on the Government to commit to a binding agreement with PSA to improve pharmacist wages and working conditions in recognition of their critical responsibilities, advanced training and skills.
“The agreement would improve consumer health outcomes through the provision of safe and effective medication use and underpin future Community Pharmacy Agreements to ensure sustainability of the pharmacist workforce.
“Our pharmacists have worked too hard, at great personal expense, for these inequities in recognition and remuneration to go unaddressed by all governments, and it’s about time that we saw action on this front. They need to act now and secure our pharmacist workforce for the future,” A/Prof Freeman said.
Media contact: PSA media 0424 777 463