Issues that need to be tackled to create a brighter future for Early Career Pharmacists

A few weeks ago, the PSA released its Early Career Pharmacist White Paper – an important document outlining a plan for supporting ECPs into the future.

The first of its kind in Australia, the White Paper makes 10 key recommendations for “ensuring a practical and sustainable long-term plan for ECPs to have satisfying and rewarding careers while contributing to Australia’s healthcare system”.

Its conclusions are based on data gleaned from consultation sessions, an online survey, face-to-face discussions as well as written submissions from ECPs.

During the consultation process, it became apparent that many Australian ECPS are “dissatisfied with their careers, and are becoming disillusioned with the sector more broadly”, according to the White Paper.

Just half of all respondents to the paper’s survey indicated they were satisfied with their current position.

Meanwhile, many ECPs indicated that the current pharmacy award rate is low in comparison to other healthcare professionals and should be re-negotiated.

In addition, the White Paper says that “while there is significant appetite among ECPs to practice in innovative models of care, less than half of all ECPs surveyed indicated that they felt supported to progress to the next stage of their career, with close to 60% of ECPs identifying the lack of clear pathways as one of the key barriers”.

ECPs have a clear need for further support.

As the PSA says, “Early career pharmacists are the future of the profession and the group who stand to be impacted most by any changes or reforms in the pharmacy sector”.