Ferguson leaves ‘enduring legacies’

Michael Ferguson

Pharmacy stakeholders have commended Tasmania’s former Health Minister, who was moved from the state’s Health Ministry following a Cabinet reshuffle

Tasmania’s new Health Minister is Sarah Courtney.

Community pharmacies and pharmacists across Tasmania have benefited from the support and hard work of outgoing Health Minister Michael Ferguson, say pharmacy groups.

In a joint statement issued today, the Pharmacy Guild of Australia and the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia praised Minister Ferguson as a very good supporter of the role that community pharmacy can play in the health of Tasmanians.

The President of the Tasmanian Branch of the Guild, John Dowling, said: “Michael has been a hardworking minister in a very difficult portfolio. He supported and delivered to pharmacists the ability to give flu vaccinations, and led the country by allowing trained pharmacists to administer vaccines to children as young as 10.

“When the meningococcal outbreak occurred last year, he quickly moved to provide access to the vaccine to pharmacists.

“In standing up to various interest groups that opposed these sensible initiatives, he has facilitated a large increase in vaccination rates, reducing the number of avoidable deaths,” Mr Dowling said.

The interim CEO of the PSA, Tasmanian pharmacist Dr Shane Jackson, said Minister Ferguson has shown an openness to recognising the key role of pharmacies and pharmacists in contributing to optimal health outcomes for Tasmanians.

“He will leave some enduring legacies in the health portfolio as Tasmanians receive improved access to primary health care through access to a broader range of care from pharmacists,” Dr Jackson said.

Dr Jackson and Mr Dowling wished Michael Ferguson well in his new portfolios. The Guild and the PSA say they look forward to working constructively with Sarah Courtney as the new Minister for Health.

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