Community pharmacy push in lead up to election

This Pharmacy Guild branch has secured written statements of support from its state’s Labor, Liberal, Nationals and Greens parties

Community pharmacies in Western Australia has received written statements of support from the state’s Labor, Liberal, Nationals and Greens parties, according to the Pharmacy Guild of Australia WA Branch.

This reportedly represents a commitment of nearly 95% of all current members of the state parliament, as the Guild WA branch signals its intent to push for key reforms in the sector over the next four-year term.

WA’s State General Election is to be held on 13 March 2021. The incumbent Labor Government is currently led by Premier Mark McGowan.

The WA Guild Branch developed its 2021 General Election Platform and provided it to all political parties represented across both houses of the WA Parliament in December 2020.

Its key message is for that the government must utilise community pharmacy within the State’s primary healthcare network to achieve better health outcomes.

“As a key part of the primary healthcare sector, the WA Branch thought it of the utmost importance to develop and advocate on a set of reforms which are effectively a blueprint for community pharmacy to deliver improved and more cost-effective health outcomes for all Western Australians,” said Andrew Ngeow, Guild WA Branch President.

Mr Ngeow said the Guild was “very pleased to have received such a strong level of commitment to community pharmacy” in response to the platform.

Since its release, there have been major announcements from the Commonwealth Government regarding the involvement of community pharmacies from Phase 2A of the COVID-19 vaccine rollout.

Premier McGowan and WA Health Minister Roger Cook have voiced their support for the inclusion of community pharmacy in the program, said the Guild.

“There can be no doubt that the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the urgent need for the better utilisation of the training, expertise and experience within community pharmacy. I believe that this the strong commitment received from the major political parties in Western Australia is recognition of that,” said Mr Ngeow.

Following the election, the branch’s priorities include expansion of the community pharmacy immunisation program to include COVID-19, NIP and travel vaccines, and conducting a review of commercial tenancy legislation.

It is also working towards maintaining dispensing changes such as continued dispensing introduced during the COVID-19 pandemic, and inclusion of community pharmacy in pandemic, emergency, disaster and primary healthcare planning.

They additionally hope to progress opportunities identified within the final reports of the WA Government’s Sustainable Health Review and the 2019 Review of Community Pharmacy Ownership in WA.

In the latter, the WA Government acknowledged there is a potential underutilisation of pharmacies and
pharmacists and recommended that WA allow additional access to immunisation via pharmacies that is at least consistent with that already permitted in other States and Territories.

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