PSA Queensland Branch President and community pharmacist owner from Yeppoon in Queensland, Bruce Elliot, has been appointed to the newly formed Primary Health Care Advisory Group which is part of a range of measures introduced in the Federal Budget to improve the health system.
Announcing the formation of the group, The Minister for Health Sussan Ley says: “The Advisory Group will investigate options to provide: better care for people with complex and chronic illness; innovative care and funding models; better recognition and treatment of mental health conditions; and greater connection between primary health care and hospital care.”
Elliot’s appointment was announced by the Minister today, and follows advocacy by the PSA for a pharmacist appointment to the group. Mr Elliot is the only pharmacist on the 15-member group.
Although he has been appointed for his knowledge and experience in the wider primary health care setting after completing a three-year term as the Chairman of Central Queensland Medicare Local, his experience as a community pharmacist, accredited pharmacist and pharmacy owner will ensure that the profession of pharmacy has a voice.
Elliot says he is delighted and honoured by the appointment and looks forward to bringing to PHCAG the views and experience of a pharmacist.
“Pharmacists know that there is so much more we can add the healthcare system and I will be highlighting this in my work on the group,” Elliot says.
“The skills and experience of pharmacists, as indeed for all clinicians in the primary care setting, have been greatly under-utilised for too long and we now have the opportunity to begin reversing this.
“The benefits to the community and the efficiencies gained for the entire health system will be great if all clinicians can work to their clinical capacities rather than complete just what they are funded to do.”
Elliot says he will also highlight the need to expedite implementation of a workable eHealth platform arguing how a robust and user friendly system could save time for clinicians, dramatically improve patient outcomes whilst stemming unnecessary health costs.
“eHealth has the potential to make great differences in communication between patient and clinician, and also in ensuring continuity of care for vulnerable patients such as people with mental health issues and Australians living in rural and remote areas where the health dollar needs to stretch so far,” Elliot says.
“We need to make the most of this system and the invigoration announced for eHealth is very positive and encouraging.
“I am also passionate driving the need for more clinical leadership and clinical governance training being introduced at the undergraduate level so that our future generation clinicians are best equipped to lead the way forward given the aging population and the ever increasing demands on our health system.”