The Pharmacy Guild has welcomed the launch of the final report of the Global Access Partners Taskforce on Self Care, which proposes an enhanced role for pharmacies in delivering primary health care.
This “significant and timely” report reaffirms the role of community pharmacies and the potential for that role to be enhanced to the benefit of patients, in keeping with a strong international trend in comparable countries, says the Guild.
The core pharmacy role of dispensing PBS medicines can be augmented by encouraging and supporting pharmacies to become health and wellness hubs, working collaboratively across the wider health system, it says.
As the most accessible health professionals, pharmacists are well place to enable patients to take greater personal responsibility for their health, providing advice, support remedies and direction, in close collaboration with general practitioners and other health professionals as appropriate, the Guild says.
As the report states, “a successful health system relied on citizens taking care of their own health as far as possible” – and pharmacists are well placed to ensure the safety of self-care through the provision of sound advice, assistance or referral.
The National President of the Guild, George Tambassis, said: “We can make better use of the resource that is the community pharmacy network, and this report makes a compelling case for doing so.
“Whether it is preventative health and wellness or helping patients live productive lives with chronic, long-term health conditions, the local community pharmacist has a vital role to play.
As the report also states – pharmacies must continue to evolve to take on this enhanced role as part of the self-care team.
“The Guild is well aware of this imperative and is already doing its bit by working on business tools and programs to assist pharmacies as they make the transformation required.”