Incorporate pharmacists into general practice, PSA urges

employee pharmacists: busy-looking pharmacist on hold on the phone

The PSA is urging the Australian Government to follow the lead of Britain in introducing funding to incorporate pharmacists into general practices.

This follows provision of £15 million ($A31 million) from the National Health Service to bring pharmacists into their GP surgeries.

National President of the PSA, Joe Demarte, says the British move reflects a Budget submission made by the PSA to the Australian Government.

“The PSA has presented the Federal Government with a proposal to make non-dispensing pharmacists a key part of the general practice healthcare team,” Demarte says.

“This proposal followed extensive collaborative work between the PSA and stakeholders to develop the model to support a more integrated role for pharmacists to work in GP practices as part of the primary care team.”

Demarte says he welcomes the British move to introduce a pilot scheme later this year designed to reduce the impact of continuing shortages of family doctors, improve the management of patients’ long-term conditions and reduce medication errors.

“This will no doubt prove the value of collaborative doctor-pharmacist service,” Demarte says.

“In Australia there are already a number of pharmacists working in GP practices in highly successful collaborative arrangements.

“Collaboration in the Australian environment will create greater efficiencies for general practices, better care for patients, new career opportunities for pharmacists, and significant Budget savings across the whole health system.”

Research by Deloitte Access Economics and commissioned by the AMA shows that for every dollar invested in the program, $1.56 would be generated in savings to the health system, PSA says.

A PSA forum will be held in Sydney on Monday 24 August to discuss this area of practice.

Those attending will hear from Australian experts in this area, including PSA’s Dr Chris Freeman, GPs, and international expert Ravi Sharma from the UK.

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