State Health Minister says community pharmacies will play a pivotal role in the COVID-19 vaccination effort
The Pharmacy Guild of Australia, Queensland Branch held its Women in Pharmacy International Women’s Day Breakfast on Monday, as a COVID-safe event that brought together many in the community pharmacy sector at the Sofitel Brisbane.
Attendees heard from keynote speaker, The Hon. Yvette D’Ath MP, Queensland’s Minister for Health and Ambulance Services, as well as Karen Brown, the owner of Terry White Chemmart Samford, who was recently awarded the 2021 Australia Day Dickson Award for Small Business, Person of the Year.
Ms D’Ath told attendees that community pharmacists should be congratulated for choosing to challenge outdated views of the profession by offering an even wider scope of service to communities as frontline primary healthcare professionals.
“Pharmacists and pharmacy assistants play a pivotal role in primary healthcare. You have the community’s trust and confidence.
“They come to you for health advice, and you’ll play a pivotal role in rolling out the COVID-19 vaccine [from phase 2A].
“It’s important that community pharmacies continue to expand on the full scope of services offer as they play such a critical role in our Queensland communities,” said Minister D’Ath.
“We congratulate you on your ongoing work, and the State Government recognises the pivotal role community pharmacy has played in keeping the community safe.
“We are so grateful to both pharmacists and pharmacy assistants, and when it comes to COVID, you will be playing a critical role in the vaccine rollout. We know that pharmacists have the community’s trust and confidence—that will be critical to success in our fight against COVID,” said Minister D’Ath.
Minister D’Ath thanked the many men and women who had chosen to challenge, particularly thanking Queensland’s Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, and Chief Health Officer, Dr Jeannette Young, who were challenged every day to keep the community safe during the coronavirus pandemic.
MC and Branch Vice President Chris Owen said the theme of this year’s International Women’s Day and breakfast was ‘Choose to Challenge’ and that attendees came away inspired by hearing from Minister D’Ath and Ms Brown.
“Community pharmacy finds itself in a unique position,” said Mr Owen.
“2020 was a year of challenges thrust on all of us, and 2021 will be a year where we take those challenges on through the roles we play as front-line health care providers in our community.
“The Minister’s speech perfectly outlined the importance that pharmacies, pharmacists and pharmacy assistants play in each of our Queensland communities as primary healthcare providers. Her challenge to us as an industry, to keep challenging and increasing our scope of practice, is one we certainly deliver on,” said Mr Owen.
“The attendees to the breakfast were fortunate in that we got to hear from two inspirational speakers, hearing Minister D’Ath’s encouragement to community pharmacy was wonderfully followed in hearing from Karen Brown who has also had a great story,” Mr Owen said.
“Ms Brown shared with us her dream of owning a pharmacy as a teenager and about her time playing netball with the Firebirds. We also heard about Ms Brown’s selfless advocacy walking the Kokoda Track raising awareness and money for those battling Ovarian Cancer.”
The Guild is encouraging to reconnect again at the Australian Pharmacy Professional Conference and Trade Exhibition (APP) on the Gold Coast, from 20 – 23 May 2021. The event is the largest pharmacy industry conference and trade exhibition in Australia.
Attendees can view the APP2021 program, registration details, COVID Safe event information and details on the $50B Business Events Grant Program www.appconference.com. Delegates who register by 29 March can save by booking at the Early Bird rate.