PSA welcomes NSW government’s budget commitments

The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA) welcomes the NSW Government’s budget commitments to healthcare.

In particular, investing in systems to track prescribed medicines associated with a high risk of causing harm or dependence.

PSA NSW Branch President Chelsea Felkai commends the government on this initiative with PSA having advocated, most recently in its pre-budget submission, for funds to be allocated to a real-time prescription monitoring system (RTPM).

“The implementation of RTPM will better inform clinical decision-making and improve medicine and patient safety,” she says.

“Deaths from prescription medicines have outpaced deaths from illicit drugs in Australia and RTPM will reduce inappropriate multiple prescribing events, reduce fraudulent prescribing and improve quality of care by facilitating a patient-centred approach.

“PSA also welcomes the $55.9 million investment over four years to increase support for palliative care services to provide the best quality care and support for those reaching the end of their life.”

PSA has worked alongside the Clinical Excellence Commission (CEC) in supporting palliative care education for pharmacists who play a vital role in increasing access to core medicines for anticipatory prescribing.

They also work as part of a multidisciplinary team to support the end of life care.

Also included in the budget was $169.4 million over four years for mental health, the purchasing of over $1 billion in personal protective equipment to keep frontline health workers safe and $30 million for additional emergency department attendances and ambulance calls.

The PSA pre-budget submission calls on the NSW Government to facilitate and fund community pharmacists to manage non-urgent presentations and allocate $9 million to reduce the financial impact and burden on emergency departments and improve access to health care through community pharmacy.

Ms Felkai says more than 10% of emergency department presentations are considered non-urgent and 70% of these presentations occur during business hours of a community pharmacy.

“Allowing community pharmacists to triage, manage or refer patients to doctors for non-urgent or low urgency medical conditions would create significant benefits for both patient health and would save the health system between $131m and $439m a year,” President Chelsea Felkai says.

“We also welcome the $1 billion investment in PPE which should include pharmacists in not only community pharmacies but hospitals and aged care facilities.”