The findings of the Fourth Intergenerational Report, released today, highlight a range of areas where pharmacists’ skills and knowledge can be more fully utilised in an integrated and collaborative health system, the PSA says.
The report projects that in 2054-55, there will be about 40,000 people aged over 100. This is a dramatic increase, well over three hundred times the 122 Australian centenarians in 1974-75.
In addition, it says: “In [2054-55] A greater proportion of the population will be aged 65 and over. The number of Australians in this age group is projected to more than double by 2054-55 compared with today.
“Both the number and proportion of Australians aged 85 and over will grow rapidly. In 1974-75, this age group represented less than 1% of the population, or around 80,000 people. In 2054-55, it is projected that 4.9% of the population, or nearly 2 million Australians, will be aged 85 and over.”
It also says that a driver for health spending will be changes in disease rates, in particular increased prevalence of chronic health conditions which increase demand for treatments.
National President of PSA, Grant Kardachi, said the costs associated with the forecast rise in the ageing and the increased spending on chronic disease were areas where a greater utilisation of pharmacists’ skills could make a difference.
“PSA has long been advocating that governments and policymakers recognise that the skills and knowledge of pharmacists can be better used in this country to support the health system,” Kardachi says.
“The report says that changes will need to be made to policy settings and the measures put forward by successive governments to meet community demands and expectations.”
Mr Kardachi said the report also forecast that in today’s dollars, health spending per person would more than double from around $2,800 to around $6,500.
“Using pharmacists can help contain these costs and also help to maximise the health outcomes for the community for every dollar that is spent,” he said.
“As a nation we have to stop talking about using the skills of pharmacists better and starting acting to ensure these skills help to maintain a more sustainable health system.”