‘Historians and epidemiologists will write whole books on what’s happened here.’

Tambassis congratulates community pharmacies across Australia, and says their crucial role should be recognised in the 7CPA – but ‘time is running out’ on negotiations

Pharmacy Guild national president George Tambassis has highlighted the work of community pharmacies across Australia during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The ‘message from the president’ comes at a crucial time for pharmacy when 7CPA negotiations are drawing to a close.

Guild leaders have recently noted the role pharmacy has played by staying open during the crisis.

“At this stage of the COVID-19 pandemic, I think community pharmacy in Australia has plenty of reasons to be congratulated,” says Mr Tambassis.

“Historians and epidemiologists will no doubt write whole books on what’s happened here and why. It is certainly the case that our governments, health authorities and our health workforce have responded swiftly and efficiently to the challenges – they all deserve applause on the results so far,” he says.

“Those accolades most definitely include the efforts and commitment of community pharmacists and pharmacy staff.”

Mr Tambassis adds that community pharmacists and pharmacy assistants have played an “absolutely vital role” in ensuring patients receive their medicines and advice throughout the coronavirus crisis, despite risks to their own personal health, safety and security.

In many comparable countries around the world, pharmacies have been directly affected by COVID cases and have also been the sites of some infection spread, he points out.

“It is a matter of immense credit to Australian community pharmacies that our preparedness and quick response to the need for infection control measures, hygiene and social distancing swung into action very quickly and effectively,” says Mr Tambassis.

“I congratulate all community pharmacies and staff on the commitment, dedication and courage you have shown as frontline health professionals so far in this crisis, adding so significantly to public health and patient benefit.”

Mr Tambassis says the best way their significant role in providing continuity of care for patients, including during emergencies, could be acknowledged is for the the Federal Government to reach “a fair and reasonable” Seventh Community Pharmacy Agreement.

“Negotiations towards that goal are continuing and have progressed well – they need to, as time is running out,” says Mr Tambassis.

“I am confident this is now a matter of high priority for the Government and a new Agreement is near.”

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