Growth in pharmacy workforce urgently needed to better serve the health system
30 August 2022
National President of the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA) Dr Fei Sim has today called for the Australian Federal Government to urgently invest into growing workforce capacity in pharmacy, ahead of this week’s Jobs and Skills Summit.
Despite being the only peak body representing all pharmacists in Australia, PSA has not been invited to attend the Jobs and Skills Summit, after the entire pharmacy sector was also snubbed from the Health Minister’s recent Health Workforce Summit.
“Growth in pharmacy workforce capacity is urgently needed to meet the demands of our patients, communities and health system,” Dr Sim said.
“Just like other industries, labour shortages are affecting pharmacies and putting further strain on already exhausted pharmacists.
“We have been on the frontlines for two and a half years, keeping our heads above water and dealing with workforce shortages to keep our communities safe. Now is the time for serious action to boost the pharmacist workforce.
“There are persistent challenges in recruiting and retaining pharmacists across all settings, with many telling us that low wages, in some areas, are pushing them away from practice.
“Prime Minister Anthony Albanese again thanked healthcare workers in his address at the National Press Club, but the sector needs leadership and action, not more thanks.
“If working conditions do not improve across the board, the expertise of pharmacists will become inaccessible to our communities. We need leadership from the Federal Government to keep pharmacists on the ground delivering frontline health care and medicine safety.
“The Federal Government needs to invest in a whole of profession workforce strategy, working with pharmacists and peak bodies to create attractive and rewarding careers. PSA is ready and willing to work with government to ensure our pharmacist workforce can meet the demands of the future.
“We want to see a plan that puts pharmacists, as the most accessible health professional, at the forefront of health care and allow pharmacists to continue to work with GPs and other healthcare professionals to deliver accessible and safe care to all Australians,” Dr Sim concluded.
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