Negotiations are continuing despite the added difficulty of COVID-19, says the Pharmacy Guild
Despite the disruptions caused by the COVID-19 emergency, negotiations with the Federal Government are continuing towards a Seventh Community Pharmacy Agreement, said Pharmacy Guild National President George Tambassis in a message to members on 1 May.
“The COVID backdrop, with its overwhelming challenges for the Government, along with extensive travel restrictions which have prevented face-to-face meetings for many weeks now, has certainly added to the degree of difficulty of the negotiations,” said Mr Tambassis.
“However, I can report that we are working just as hard towards an Agreement – the more so because we are now drawing nearer to the conclusion of 6CPA on June 30.”
He added that there are still issues that need to be overcome during the negotiations.
“Both the Guild and the Government have the will to achieve a new Agreement to give stability and certainty to our vital sector, but issues remain, and there is more work to be done,” he said.
“If anything, the COVID-19 scenario, as confronting as it has been, has shown the importance of the community pharmacy network – its resilience under extreme conditions – and its essential role in providing primary care to all Australians.”
He said the Guild was taking every opportunity to remind the Government of the fundamental importance of community pharmacies during the negotiation, adding that this is something “which is there for all to see every day in the current environment”.
“It is imperative for all in the community that we achieve a fair Agreement,” said Mr Tambassis.
PSA’s negotiations with the government are also continuing, PSA National President Chris Freeman confirmed to AJP.
Last year Health Minister Greg Hunt announced that, for the first time, the PSA would be co-signatory to the upcoming CPA.
Minister Hunt confirmed he would be working with the PSA mainly with elements related to the pharmacist code of ethics, services delivery and practice delivery, while the Guild will be signing off on remuneration according to legislative requirements.