PSA national president Joe Demarte is set to discuss the implications of the Pharmacy Remuneration and Reform Review 

February 2017 is an important month for PSA as the Remuneration and Reform Roadshow begins.

I have been looking forward to it because it is a fantastic opportunity to meet PSA members, listen to your concerns, share information about what PSA is working on and discuss opportunities available to pharmacists. The sessions I have attended so far have been well attended and have generated some great discussions.

This year we have selected different regional locations to 2016 so we can give more members an opportunity to be heard. The Roadshow is visiting 19 locations in February and March.

Last year our first Roadshow was a real eye-opener for me in my first year as PSA President. I came away with a much clearer understanding of the issues concerning our members and more broadly all pharmacists. It is one thing to think you have a good grasp of what concerns members, it is another to have the chance to meet so many members face-to-face and hear what they have to say. I am excited about meeting as many members as I can.

The Roadshow is a two-way conversation. Of course PSA has a list of topics, for example pharmacists’ remuneration, that we will talk about but we also want to hear pharmacists’ views.

I urge all members to make the effort to attend the session near them. I also urge members to bring their pharmacist friends and work colleagues with them, non-members are also welcome.

This year the Roadshow presentations will include a report to members on the progress of the Review of Pharmacy Remuneration and Regulation. Members will then have an opportunity to give their views and comments on the Review.

Another issue PSA will be canvassing with members is that of pharmacist remuneration. PSA has been raising debate on this issue for more than 18 months and finally there is acceptance within the industry that pharmacists’ wages are too low.

The 2016 PSA member survey indicated that for members remuneration is the number one challenge facing the profession. We will be providing a briefing to members attending the Roadshow on how PSA is working to improve remuneration for our profession.

This issue is directly related to another area we will focus on at the Roadshow – the challenges facing early career pharmacists (ECPs). Our Early Career Pharmacist Working Group is preparing a white paper on this.

ECPs are the future of pharmacy and I am determined to do all in my power to ensure today’s PSA paves the way for tomorrow’s PSA members to have a rewarding and exciting future in pharmacy.

Already this year we have seen the launch of a Victorian pilot program that will see an expanded role for pharmacists in chronic disease management. Through the pilot, eligible patients will be able to visit their community pharmacist to monitor chronic conditions and manage medications under the direction of their GP’s care plan. This is a positive initiative and one that could easily spread to other states once it is successful in Victoria. (See page 7 for more details.)

The interactive sessions are free and will run for about an hour and half. It will be 90 minutes well spent. Pharmacy is facing some big challenges in the year ahead. In our 2016 member survey members indicated that one of their main reasons for belonging to PSA is because the Society is the voice of the profession, representing all pharmacists. The Roadshow is an important part of this. We need your feedback about the issues concerning you. That way we can be your voice to governments, state and federal, and advocate accurately on the issues that concern to you.

I look forward to meeting you at the Roadshow.