Budget means opportunities for pharmacist involvement

$50 note sticks out of blue piggybank

Primary healthcare reforms being progressed as part of the 2016-17 Federal Budget should provide opportunities for greater involvement of pharmacists, says PSA.

However PSA questioned whether the funding quantum allocated to some primary healthcare programs will be enough to have a real impact on consumer health.

PSA National Vice President Michelle Lynch says pharmacists welcome the allocation of $21.3 million over four years to trial the Health Care Homes model, recommended by the Primary Healthcare Advisory Group.

The trial will support primary care providers to deliver coordinated care, management and support to approximately 65,000 people with chronic and complex conditions in Australia.

“PSA questions if $100 (approx) per patient per annum – or around $35,000 per healthcare home – is sufficient for patients with the most chronic needs to access genuine integrated care – which includes having a pharmacist on the team,” Lynch says.

She says pharmacists welcomed the tobacco excise increase that will provide a major public health boost for Australians.

“The evidence-based changes to tobacco excise will improve the health of Australians by reducing their exposure to tobacco products however this needs to be combined with investment in smoking cessation programs through the highly-accessible community pharmacy network.”

PSA also welcomed the proposed redesign of the Practice Incentives Program which will provide increased flexibility for general practice through Quality Improvement Incentive payments.

“We look forward to contributing to the design of these reforms based on best practice examples before the implementation of new arrangements in May 2017, as part of our ongoing advocacy, supporting a model for pharmacists in General Practice,” Lynch says.

She says small business including community pharmacy will also benefit from personal income tax and small business depreciation and concessions.

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