A fair wage


Emma McBride

Pharmacists’ remuneration should reflect their training and expertise, says pharmacist and MP Emma McBride

Pharmacists are highly trained, capable people and their remuneration needs to reflect this, says Emma McBride, federal ALP Member for Dobell and a pharmacist.

Speaking on the opening morning of the 2018 NAPSA Congress at the University of Sydney, Ms McBride spoke passionately about her career and her desire for equality of healthcare access and opportunity.

During a panel discussion on the future of pharmacy, Ms McBride also confronted some of the crucial issues facing pharmacy today and in the immediate future.  

“Pharmacists’ pay must reflect their training and expertise,” she said. “If people are to remain in pharmacy, they need to be paid at a level where they are living comfortably and willing to commit to the profession

At the same discussion, Elise Apolloni, co-owner of the 2017 Pharmacy of the Year Professional Services award winning pharmacy, agreed with Ms McBride but said innovation was required to develop new income streams for pharmacy before remuneration will improve.

“Unfortunately, the existing model of dispensary income is not going to grow and allow more remuneration for staff, there will be no drastic change there. This is where professional services and innovation need to be filling the gaps,” she said.

Ms McBride also called for a reduction in barriers between different sectors of pharmacy, saying this was detrimental to the image the profession portrays.

“Pharmacists are often described as the sector in which they work in: community, hospital, industry etc. These barriers need to disappear,” she said.

“There are not many other professions I can think of where you describe yourself by the setting in which you work.”

An image of pharmacists as one profession of healthcare providers, playing a vital role in community care and medicines advice would ensure it’s interests were better reflected in policy and leadership, as would more pharmacists stepping into broader health leadership roles.

Speaking of the NAPSA delegates, she said she was encouraged by such a strong attendance by the “future of pharmacy”, and backed calls by Professor Iqbal Ramzan, dean of Pharmacy at Sydney University, for more young leaders to come through the profession.

“In particular more young women – to better reflect the demographics of pharmacy, in particular the student demographics,” Professor Ramzan said.

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