Falling down the list

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Report card reveals how Australia’s pharmacists are falling behind in the medical services they are funded to provide

The PSA has released a report card on the level of services Australian pharmacists receiving funding to provide, and it doesn’t paint a pretty picture.

The ‘Australian Snapshot 2017: Optimising Pharmacists’ Contribution to Health’, released at PSA17 last weekend, shows  that Australian pharmacists are behind in terms of government or 3rd party payment for services when compared to pharmacists from other Western nations.

“While there are pockets of innovation in Australia, there are no sustainable funding mechanisms to support these pharmacist services for the benefit of those who need them,” the report said.

Speaking about the report, PSA national president Dr Shane Jackson said “Australia doesn’t lead the world any more in sustainable provision of pharmacist services. This is a situation that must be rectified.”

Australia was regarded as being the practice leader in only one of nine broad service categories examined in the report – this was in Medication Reviews, which were also funded in each of the other countries or regions considered.

The only other practice area in which Australian pharmacists had a funded model was in Integration in general practice.

Here is a listing of the six countries or regions considered by the number of funded practice areas:

8 funded practice areas:

  • UK & Ireland – funded in all but Health care homes integration. Leaders in funded models for Minor Ailment Service (Scotland), Immunisation (Ireland) and GP Integration (England)
  • New Zealand – all funded but for Minor Ailment Service. Leader in Chronic Disease Management
  • Canada – all funded but Screening & Risk Assessment. Leader in Prescribing under protocol

7 funded practice areas         

  • USA – all but Minor ailments service and Screening and risk assessment. Leader in Health Care Homes integration
  • Europe – all funded bar Minor Ailments and Prescribing under protocol. Leaders in Smoking Cessation (across 20 countries) and Screening and Risk Assessment (15 countries)

2 funded practice areas

  • Australia – only funded for Integration in general practice and Medication Reviews (leader). Not funded for Smoking Cessation, Minor Ailments Service, Screening and Risk Assessment, Immunisation, Chronic Disease Management, Integration in Health Care Homes, Prescribing under protocol.


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  1. PharmOwner

    Says a lot about the importance (or lack thereof) successive federal governments place on healthcare in this country, doesn’t it?

    • Andrew

      Govt doesn’t apportion program funding.

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