Two days ago, we reported on the PSA16 panel session examining pay rates for pharmacists, which PSA CEO Lance Emerson called “the single largest issue facing the profession in community pharmacy”.
If the strength of your response is anything to go by, he’s right: it’s a massive issue causing concern industry-wide.
The reaction to our story was almost unanimous: pharmacists aren’t getting paid enough, and there’s enormous pessimism about the future of the profession.
“A pharmacy graduate with a $20,000 education bill will never be able to pay it off, raise a family, buy a safe car and a house on the current pharmacists’ wage,” said David Haworth.
“And every day they are asked to complete more new programs and services and told they must lift their game to compete.”
Reader JennyT said that the King review is “The best thing that could have happened to pharmacy.
“The younger ones should embrace and seek change or they will be the ones ending up with a dead end career. Not the fat cats who made their money during the golden era and are laughing to their banks to collect their paycheck.”
Pharmacy Specialist told us that after selling their pharmacy, they expected to be able to work as an emergency locum for $50 an hour, but found bookings slow and becoming more remote, so completed an executive MBA, hoping to offer their services in pharmacy.
“What I found was that pharmacy is replete with arrogant owners, abusing their staff verbally and psychologically, dispersed across a framework of no-profit and no-answer,” they wrote.
“I was shocked at how the actual problems of staff retention, skill base utilisation and diversification metrics were so profoundly underperforming that no one would work in pharmacy if they hadn’t already invested decades of their lives into it.”
United We Stand pointed out that “In Western Sydney locum pharmacists are doing it for $32/hr. It’s ridiculous.
“Lol at Guild President George Tambassis saying wages aren’t great but the focus should be on a strong pharmacy model. Tony Abbott just found his long lost brother.”
As for heading out of the major cities to find well-paying work, John said that he had “no sympathy” for those who didn’t want to do so, as there is “Plenty of opportunity for better remuneration if they search outside.”
But BJ replied that “that old chestnut of going rural needs to be buried”.
“You shouldn’t be expected to go rural to find a job as a professional – that is ridiculous,” they said.
And BS said that “I’ve even been to Outback Northern Queensland and overseas-trained pharmacists have already made their way there – the supply is met.
“I don’t think anybody in their right minds would consider any profession a ‘good’ career choice if said career can only take off by uprooting to the boondocks.”
Kevin Hayward said that “Pharmacists might want to consider broadening their professional scope.
“I won a higher research degree scholarship and became a GP practice pharmacist. Currently I work part time as a HMR pharmacist,” he wrote.
“With the money from the sale of my pharmacy, and, the skills I gained running my business I was able to set up a successful property business.”
Reader Bakassi, a pharmacist from Africa who is currently studying in Australia, says that what they see in Australian pharmacies is “saddening. Pharmacists are always looking tired and unhappy”.
In their home country, “job opportunities are not limited to community or hospital pharmacy,” Bakassi writes.
“Jobs like medical representative are readily available from pharm companies. Most of the multinationals like GSK, Pfizer etc will not employ you back home if you’re not a pharmacist and these employment are permanent, good salary and allowances.
“I’m surprised it’s not like that here.”
And Ex Pharmacist suggested following their own lead and getting out of pharmacy entirely.
“I see no empathy towards the non-owner pharmacists who pretty much run the cogs and wheels for the pharmacy owners,” they wrote.
“I remember the beady greedy eyes of pharmacy owners that demanded more generic conversions, more “free” SMS reminder sign ups, more Interventions, more Med Checks, it’s ridiculous… at the end of the day, you have no time to provide customer experience or clinical value because you’re being treated as an expensive shop girl.”
Read the original story here: ‘Is there are pharmacy wage crisis?’