10 key messages from the leaders

Pharmacy heard a range of positive messages from Australia’s political leaders at the recent Guild Parliament House dinner.

Here’s a selection of 10 key messages:

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull

  • Since October 2013 there have been nearly 1000 new and amended listings to the PBS, worth a total of $4.2 billion.
  • I am excited to see the possibilities of new technologies like telehealth services, mobile apps and more- to strengthen the relationship between the consumer and their pharmacist.
  • Watching the video we just saw of Pharmacy 777 Nollamara, is a great example of why we support pharmacies being owned by a pharmacist.
  • Under the 6CPA, existing community pharmacy programs are subject to a cost-effectiveness assessment to determine whether they are providing best value…. These reviews are underway and while evidence is gathered and assessed, ongoing funding will be made available to support existing pharmacy programs.
  • We are increasing, from $2 million to $10 million, the threshold at which small businesses can access a range of concessions. This will allow more businesses to claim immediate tax deductibility for asset purchases costing less than $20,000.

Federal opposition leader Bill Shorten

  • I’d like to acknowledge Emma McBride, a new federal Labor MP. She’s the only pharmacist in the 45th parliament, and the only female pharmacist in any of the 45 parliaments.
  • I understand that pharmacy still faces challenges in perception. The perception that every pharmacist is very wealthy, when many, after long years of study, are still only earning $24 an hour. A situation that ultimately effects, I think, the model of service.
  • I did a survey in my local electorate, of the services community pharmacies provide: diabetes support services and screening trials, life coaching, health and wellness coaching, reaching out to residential aged care facilities to better manage medication.

Greens leader Senator Richard Di Natale

  • We hear over and over about unsustainable spending on health, but the Greens take a different view. Most people agree with us. A 2014 ANU poll found that 81% of people thought we should spend more on health, and only 6% thought we should spend less.
  • The voice of pharmacists needs to be heard not just in debates around possible reform to community pharmacy, but also in broader debate around primary care, private health insurance, PBS reform.
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