Patients of community pharmacies across Tasmania will benefit from the re-elected Government’s promises to enable pharmacists to provide more services for the communities they serve.
The Tasmanian Branch President of the Pharmacy Guild of Australia, Helen O’Byrne, congratulates the Gutwein Government on its election victory at the weekend.
“The re-election of Premier Peter Gutwein and his Government marks a milestone for community pharmacies in this State and for their patients,” says Ms O’Byrne.
“The Government has pledged to review pharmacists’ scope of practice in Tasmania and by any measure this must mean that we will soon be able to provide to patients more of the services we are trained for and qualified to deliver.
“This will be a major step in improving health outcomes for patients while also helping to ease pressure on doctors and hospitals.”
Ms O’Byrne says the Government’s commitment to maintain current ownership provisions for community pharmacies provided certainty for the small business owners who make up the sector.
“Community pharmacies can now plan for the future confident in the knowledge that their ownership rights are being maintained,” she says.
“This is especially important given the uncertainty and challenges the sector has faced during the past 18 months or so.”
Ms O’Byrne says a significant commitment by the Government was its promise to enable pharmacists to provide vaccines under the National Immunisation Program (NIP).
“At present only Western Australia, Victoria and the ACT allow pharmacists to immunise under the NIP and Tasmania’s promise shows leadership in the necessary move towards having all pharmacies across the country being eligible to deliver NIP vaccines,” she says.
“We look forward to continuing to work closely with the Government and helping to ensure a smooth and speedy implementation of these commitments.”
National President of the Guild Professor Trent Twomey also congratulates the Gutwein Government on its re-election and says its commitment to the NIP was especially significant.
“Community pharmacies have already provided close to 300,000 flu vaccinations this year, and this follows more than three million last year,” he says.
“But only community pharmacies in Victoria, the ACT and WA can provide patients over the age of 65 with the vaccine under the NIP.
“The inconsistency between States and Territories over NIP vaccines needs to be addressed as a matter of urgency and Tasmania’s determination to act on this quickly is a welcome initiative which should serve as a beacon to those States and Territory that are yet to act.
“Quite simply community pharmacies in all States and Territories need to be included under the National Immunisation Program, and this will mean patients over the age of 65 will be able to receive the over 65 vaccine in all jurisdictions.
“The States and Territory where the NIP is not available through community pharmacies are lagging and need to get their acts together. They are failing their communities while they dither about.”
Text and feature image by: The Pharmacy Guild of Australia