Which expanded health care role interests you?


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Which expanded health care role interests you most?

Internationally and in Australia, pharmacists are moving into new and expanded roles in community pharmacy.

Recently the Grattan Institute’s Dr Stephen Duckett said that pharmacists are underutilised and, in addition to services such as vaccination, could do a lot more.

This could mean expansion of continued dispensing; prescribing for some ailments, a Minor Ailments Service; or getting involved with programs to help prevent certain health outcomes, such as cardiovascular disease.

Are you keen, not just to get out from behind the dispensary, but to expand your role in allied health?

Which of these services, if they were all available to you, would you be most interested in pursuing in community pharmacy?

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2 Comments

  1. Debbie Rigby
    23/08/2016

    I think the results when I voted are really interesting. Nearly half of respondents indicated interest in working as a non-dispensing pharmacist in a GP practice. Next highest were limited prescribing for some ailments and helping GPs manage chronic conditions. What this says to me is that pharmacists in general are focussed on being actively involved in the care of consumers and prefer a collaborative role, rather than working in isolation. Why then has the community pharmacy sector failed to encompass these roles (again in general, a few have)?
    I would strongly encourage all pharmacists to attend the current forums on the King Review and/or submit comments on the questions asked in the discussion paper. This may be our best opportunity to drive change and see appropriate funding for pharmacists, caring for patients at the top of their skills, regardless of where they work.

    • Mikalai Mamas
      23/08/2016

      Totally agree with Debbie, we need to submit suggestions on the key points of the King Review, as this might be the opportunity which we haven’t had for so long, and probably won’t have any time soon again.

      It seems to me that the core problem with the clinical services in the community pharmacy is that they are not viable financially, at least in the form they exist today. Here is the inherent conflict between the ‘Retail’ and the ‘Clinical’ side of the pharmacy, as I see it: we would like to improve the outcomes of our patients/customers by providing meaningful and professional health service, but it is actually the retail part that pays the bills (by saying ‘retail’ I mean all supply activities, including dispensing of S4). The roles at GP clinics, limited prescribing – that’s great, but it is all outside of the community pharmacy, where someone else actually pays the pharmacist’s wages. At the pharmacy, we have several ways to finance this evolution to a new, sustainable service model: get the customer to pay for it directly, get access to the government funding through new programs with the evidence of improved patients’ outcomes, get the funding from health insurance companies through similar programs. And as long as we have the same pharmacist on duty processing the scripts, counselling, liaising with the doctors, checking Webster packs, dosing CPOP clients, ordering stock, submitting PBS claims and reports, performing and recording clinical interventions AND trying to introduce more of the clinical services at the same time, nothing is going to change.

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