Pharmacists have launched the Rural Pharmacy Network Australia to address critical issues affecting rural pharmacy
Pharmacists working in rural areas have formed to connect with one another and provide a forum for discussion of issues affecting rural pharmacists and pharmacies.
The group has been co-founded by Fredrik Hellqvist and Karalyn Huxhagen, both of whom work in rural areas and are involved in rural pharmacy advocacy.
Rural Australia is facing a looming healthcare crisis, the Rural Pharmacy Network Australia points out.
A recent report by the Royal Flying Doctor Service forecasts an alarming decline in the rural health workforce for the future, despite a predicted dramatic rise in chronic disease and mental illness.
The report predicts that by 2028 rural Australia will only have half the number of pharmacists as compared to metropolitan areas (52 as compared to 113 per 100,000 population).
“We want to establish a forum to address the critical issues affecting rural pharmacy, collectively brainstorm solutions that will work for our communities/patients/businesses, and make sure that grassroots priorities are being given due consideration by representative bodies, policy makers, and governments,” states group spokesperson Dr Katie Stott (PhD).
“We would like to invite registered pharmacists working in rural areas to join the group as well as others (e.g. doctors, allied health professionals, policy specialists etc.) who can demonstrate their ability to contribute to the discussion.”