Not so hazardous


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We’ve already done enough for pharmacy: government responds to call for pharmacy hazard allowance by asserting its previous support for the profession

The Federal Government has not offered any additional support to pharmacy in its official response to a petition which called for a hazard allowance or tax relief for pharmacists, and other health care workers.

Petition EN1509, presented to Parliament on 15 June, had called for the introduction of a hazard allowance and tax holiday for healthcare workers, particularly for pharmacists and pharmacy workers.

In a response, tabled in Parliament this week, Assistant Treasurer Michael Sukkar said “community pharmacies have played a central role in supporting their community during the recent bushfires and have kept their doors open to support patients during the COVID-19 pandemic”.

However, he offered no additional support, and reiterated the government’s previous support measures for businesses impacted by the pandemic, and listed the Seventh Community Pharmacy Agreement as a sign of their support for pharmacy.

“The Australian Government has acted decisively to support households and businesses and address the significant economic consequences of the Coronavirus,” Mr Sukkar said.

“The Government’s economic support package provides timely support to workers, households and businesses through a difficult time and has positioned the Australian economy to recover strongly”.

“In June 2020, the Government finalised the Seventh Community Pharmacy Agreement (7CPA), which is expected to provide $18.3 billion over five years and ensure Australians have access to more than 200 million subsidised prescriptions each year through their community pharmacy of choice”, Mr Sukkar said.

“The 7CPA demonstrates the Government’s ongoing support for patients and community pharmacy. It also acknowledges that Australia’s community pharmacies will continue to be crucial to the Government’s efforts to improve the health of all Australians.” 

Pharmacists did receive a vote of thanks from NSW Liberal MP Jason Falinski who said in the House of Representatives last week:

“I thank all the frontline emergency service personnel and health workers who have endured many
challenges through this crisis.

I particularly want to thank pharmacists who, at the beginning of this crisis, were not able to move to telehealth and took on the role of dealing directly with the public, giving the public assurance around what they could do. Many of them were not able to get hold of PPE equipment.

Therefore, they were very brave in the way that they continued to assist their community during this period”.

 

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5 Comments

  1. Nick
    01/09/2020

    I’m sorry but, what support? I’ve seen sweet fuck-all from the federal level?
    Happy to be corrected but the 7th Agreement doesn’t seem to have much if any support for us, especially non-owners

    The state (or at least QLD, can’t comment on the rest) have been good to us in picking up their slack

  2. Vita
    01/09/2020

    Last time I checked pharmacists were the lowest paid health professionals. Come again how is the government supporting pharmacists? The actual front line workers.

    • Ex-Pharmacist
      01/09/2020

      State governments pay the wages of pharmacists in public hospitals.
      Community pharmacists are paid per an industry award where the union (Professional Pharmacists Australia – PPA) sought in 2018 a 25% increase to all wage rates in the Pharmacy Award. However this claim by PPA was vigorously opposed by the Pharmacy Guild of Australia.
      Feel free to read this AJP article and especially the comments by Pharmacists at the end >
      https://ajp.com.au/news/pharmacists-work-value-case-weighed-up/

  3. TALL POPPY
    01/09/2020

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Lip Service. That’s all the once proud profession of Pharmacists gets. The movement is gathering. Don’t believe the rhetoric – don’t believe the feel good stories – show us the money – until then pharmacy is getting worse each year. More work, more stress for less money.
    Money. Proper remuneration. That is what the profession needs in order to be respected and successful.

  4. Steven J
    03/09/2020

    Unless you put money into a politician’s pocket or guarantee them votes then you won’t get taxpayer money out of politicians. Quid pro quo

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