Funding for new and expanded pharmacy services is good news for Australia’s young pharmacists, says PSA Young Pharmacist of the Year 2014 Taren Gill.
Gill told the AJP that these services will provide young pharmacists with opportunities to make a difference in their community and to prove to stakeholders the growing importance of pharmacy in primary care.
“Unshackling the professional service from the cost of goods in store is really important for young pharmacists, and I think that one of the best things young pharmacists can do is really prove that this is an activity-based funding model,” she says.
“We need to really show the Government and the community that we’re absolutely necessary in primary health care.
“It’s exciting that pharmacists will be able to provide more services. There’s a whole new generation of patients out there who know that their pharmacist is really well-informed, they’re a great communicator and so it’s not necessary for them to go to the GP when they feel comfortable accessing a community pharmacy any day of the week without an appointment.”
She says it’s vital, however, that pharmacists actually embrace the opportunities offered by professional services funding.
“If you’re going to do a MedsCheck, for example, really do a MedsCheck, not a half-hearted version that could be audited and the results showing, ‘is this all a pharmacy can do? That’s not worth funding’,” she says.
Gill added that she’s excited about the rural and remote, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, focus for some of the programs.
“This is really important, and honestly, I’d encourage young pharmacists to get to grips with some of these regional issues, and to get out of the CBD!
“When I couldn’t find a full-time position in Sydney, I moved to Orange, and it’s been absolutely fantastic for my career.
“If the funding’s going regional, it only makes sense for the pharmacists to follow.”