Key health groups respond to Coalition win

Canberra parliament house

The Guild, PSA and AMA have responded to the Turnbull government’s re-election

National President of the Pharmacy Guild of Australia, George Tambassis, has passed on his congratulations to the Coalition following its re-election.

“[The Guild] looks forward to continuing to work with the government to ensure the current model of community pharmacy, with its demonstrable benefits to health consumers and to the health system overall, is maintained and strengthened,” says Tambassis.

“The Guild will continue to work constructively with all elected representatives across the political spectrum,” he adds.

Meanwhile the PSA says pharmacists are looking for a stable government to ensure the future viability of the pharmacy sector and wider healthcare system.

“PSA stands ready to work with the incoming Government and Federal Health Minister, especially to implement key health reforms outlined in PSA’s Election Manifesto 2016, which highlighted the integral role pharmacists can play in maintaining the sustainability of the healthcare system,” says PSA National President Joe Demarte.

“Effective inter-professional collaboration is critical to the future sustainability of the Australian health system, and as such, should be a key priority for the incoming Government.

“Pharmacists are highly-accessible, well-trained health professionals however their knowledge and expertise, especially on medicines and healthcare, often go under-utilised,” says Demarte.

The AMA also passed on its congratulations and used the opportunity to renew calls on the new government to lift the Medicare rebate freeze and scrap changes to bulk-billing incentives.

AMA president Dr Michael Gannon says health policy was a key factor in the closeness of the election result and this is an area the new government will need to focus on.

“The new government is yet to be sworn in, and the Prime Minister is still working on the new ministry, but it is now predicted the Coalition will form government in its own right, albeit with the narrowest of majorities,” says Dr Gannon.

“The election result and the prominence of health issues in deciding votes mean that the Government will need to review its health platform. This is something that Prime Minister Turnbull has already admitted.

“The election result has sent a strong message to the Government that Australian voters take Medicare and health policy in general seriously. There must be a strong champion for health in Cabinet to drive policy that appeals to the electorate and medical and health professionals,” he says.

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