Moving pharmacy forward

Australia’s healthcare system is strained but there is immense scope for the role of pharmacists to address the sector’s future burdens.

At a time of great strain in Australia’s healthcare system, PSA recognises the opportunity of pharmacists to assist, along with the importance of pharmacy organisations collaborating in areas of mutual interest.

PSA is concentrating on developing the capacity and capability of pharmacists to deliver on the opportunities available.

The Pharmacy Guild and PSA have worked closely together on visionary programs of interest to our overlapping membership and to the pharmacy profession.

These include programs such as Pain MedsCheck, the Health Care Homes initiative and My Health Record.

Since I took the reins as President, PSA has undertaken a major strategic planning process to focus on supporting members and the wider profession.

As the recognised peak body for pharmacists, our work is centred on three areas of practice that drive opportunities for the future.

Practising to full scope of practice

PSA believes pharmacists as medicines experts should have the opportunity to practise to their full scope of practice.

This means having the opportunity to improve health outcomes through medicines management in the Australian healthcare system.

Pharmacists should not be inhibited by thinking only of what roles pharmacists are currently doing – the challenge for what pharmacists practising to full scope of practice means.

For PSA, this means responsibility, and accountability for medicines management.

Pharmacist development

We must ensure the pharmacy profession and pharmacists are supported to be the best healthcare practitioners they can be, allowing them to practice to full scope.

They should be rewarded and remunerated for their significant expertise, skills and training and we must have a framework that allows for career development and recognition.

The public will want a capable workforce to deliver the services that are not only needed now, but into the future.

Standards of practice

This is what I call ‘raising the bar’. With responsibility for medicines management, so comes accountability. Our patients expect the services we provide to be delivered to a high quality.

The outcomes from the services delivered by pharmacists should be tangible, they should be measurable and they should impact on health outcomes.

Pharmacists who are practising to a high professional standard need to be recognised for this.

In the lead up to the next Community Pharmacy Agreement, the outcomes of services delivered by pharmacists will need to be clear so practising to full scope of practice is embraced by government.