Dr Edwin Kruys, the GP who has criticised community pharmacy’s vaccination service as a “slippery slope” in the last week, has issued a challenge to the Pharmacy Guild: that he would like to take the Guild up on its suggestion to collaborate.
And the Guild is happy to do so, says Pharmacy Guild of Australia – Queensland Branch president Tim Logan.
“The relationship between doctors and community pharmacists is an interesting one: the two professions rely heavily on each other,” Dr Kruys wrote in another piece on his blog, Doctor’s Bag, today.
“For example, I find the advice and support from pharmacists invaluable when trying to solve difficult medication problems with my patients. Pharmacists also act as a ‘second pair of eyes’ checking my prescriptions.”
However, on another level doctors and community pharmacists are often at loggerheads, he writes.
“Issues that come up time and time again are differences of opinion about the commercial aspects of healthcare, conflicts of interest with regards to prescribing and dispensing, and who does what.
“In the eyes of many doctors, community pharmacy has gone off track with little connection at policy level with other primary care providers.
“Pharmacist will tell a different story. For example, some pharmacists – not all – seem to think that the main agenda of doctors is to protect their ‘turf’ – but there’s much more to it.”
Dr Kruys writes that pharmacist vaccination impacts on the care delivered by family doctors and their teams, hampering opportunistic screening and fragmenting care histories.
He says it would have been useful if the RACGP in Queensland had been involved in the QPIP trial.
Dr Kruys says that he found Logan’s comments on AJP Daily somewhat encouraging.
“I’d like to take Tim up on his suggestion to work more closely together and invite the Pharmacy Guild to meet with RACGP Queensland,” Dr Kruys writes.
“I acknowledge that there are always two sides to every story. Let’s see if there is common ground and room for agreement on how our professions can work better together at policy level, without duplicating services or creating more fragmentation of care.”
“This is actually very welcome,” Logan told the AJP today.
“I think it’s the first time that someone from a medical advocacy group who has been critical has said, ‘okay, let’s sit down and talk about it’.
“So I welcome this, and will reach out to Dr Kruys and make an appointment to talk to him. I’ll see if Professor Nissen wants to come as well.
“I don’t think it’s going to turn back the process [of pharmacy expansion into vaccination], and I still have issues with things he has said in his blog, but I welcome the fact that he’s said, ‘let’s move forwards, let’s see what we can do’.
“I look forward to providing him with a more complete perception of the way vaccinations are being provided in pharmacies and to see what kind of steps the professions can take to collaborate to the benefit of society.”