Pharmacists in GP clinics model has PSA backing but needs more work

choosing wisely: doctor writes on clipboard

PSA has made a clarification on the collaborative model for pharmacists to be integrated into GP clinics, following AMA president Association Professor Brian Owler’s comments at the Press Club yesterday.

PSA says the model represents an exciting step for GPs, pharmacists and, most importantly, for patients across all of Australia; but more work needs to be done on the model by the PSA and the medical groups, it says.

The PSA’s clarification follows a statement by the AMA for Family Doctor Week and further reiterated in yesterday’s National Press Club speech by A/Prof Owler, that the pharmacists in GP surgeries model and the AMA proposal has the ‘full backing’ of the PSA.

“The PSA believes the integration of pharmacists into GP practices offers great opportunities to improve consumer health outcomes while also providing scope for a new career path for pharmacists,” says National President Joe Demarte.

“But the model needs to ensure that the services provided by pharmacists operating within GP practices are complementary to, and add value to those delivered by local community pharmacies already working collaboratively with general practices.”

Demarte said this truly collaborative team care approach is particularly important “at a time when the ageing population and increasing chronic disease are putting immense pressures on the whole healthcare system.

“Our model is centred on patient care and improving health outcomes and a key to its success is ensuring continuity of care for the patient,” he says.

“It’s important to note that there is still a lot of work to be done in this area with the medical groups, particularly with regard to the clinical protocol and the payment model.

“PSA will continue working with the GP groups to progress a model that improves patient health, ensures local continuity of care and facilitates fair remuneration for pharmacists.”

Research by Deloitte Access Economics shows that for every $1 invested in the program, $1.56 would be generated in savings to the health system.

“This is a significant saving and one which is genuinely and readily accessible,” Demarte 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 our own Dr Chris Freeman, GPs, and international expert Ravi Sharma from the UK. Details of the forum can be found here.

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