Senator Ruston announced as Health Minister designate

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The Pharmacy Guild of Australia has welcomed the announcement by Prime Minister Scott Morrison that Senator Anne Ruston would be the Health Minister in any new Coalition government.

The National President of the Pharmacy Guild of Australia, Professor Trent Twomey, said the Guild looked forward to working closely and constructively with Senator Ruston if the Coalition is re-elected.

“A priority is to ensure a commitment is made that the current model of community pharmacy, including the location rules, which ensure accessibility to pharmacies for patients across the country, is maintained,” Professor Twomey said.

“The current model works and works well.

“The past two years have been particularly challenging for the community pharmacy sector but the way pharmacies have risen to these challenges has underscored just how critical role their role is in the healthcare sector.

“Senator Ruston would bring to the position of Health Minister a range of skills and experience which will help further build on the strengths of community pharmacy.

“One area we will focus on is ensuring community pharmacists can work to their full scope of practice so their skills and training are fully utilised.

“Significant shortages of primary healthcare practitioners are putting huge pressure on doctors and emergency departments.

“Having community pharmacists prescribe, dispense, administer and review medicines is not only common sense but good health policy that helps to improve patient outcomes.”

Professor Twomey also said the Guild would seek commitments on reducing the general co-payment from the current $42.50.

“We know too many Australians are either going without medicines, or having family members go without because they simply cannot afford them.

“This problem can be easily fixed. There is no excuse for this happing in Australia.”