PSA national president Grant Kardachi has outlined the PSA’s advocacy in the Sixth Community Pharmacy Agreement, while opening the PSA’s conference in Berlin.
The 40th PSA Offshore Refresher Conference was officially opened in Berlin on Friday, 1 May by Kardachi (left).
Conference chairman Warwick Plunkett (right) welcomed more than 300 delegates and Australian Ambassador David Ritchie (centre), delivered the keynote address focusing on the bilateral relationship between Australia and Germany.
“The PSA Board has developed a strategy and together with a 6CPA team has been advocating PSA’s views and working with stakeholders to ensure the best outcomes for pharmacists, stakeholders and consumers,” Kardachi told delegates.
“As we move into the signing phase of the Agreement we are seeing heightened action by PSA and other pharmacy groups over negotiations to secure the best possible outcomes in the 6CPA.
“PSA’s position on 6CPA is that it should be signed in the context of it being the cornerstone of pharmacy’s contribution to the provision of a comprehensive suite of primary healthcare services for the community.
“This approach enables pharmacists to be better identified as healthcare clinicians and community pharmacies to be regarded as health care destinations.”
He said that in approaching the 6CPA, PSA has been of the view that the Agreement’s underlying framework must be structured around four interlinked streams:
- ensuring the pharmacy network and infrastructure;
- safe and quality dispensing of PBS/RPBS medicines;
- optimising medication management for consumers (chronic disease focus); and
- improving public health.
Maintaining a viable community pharmacy network is essential, he said.
“PSA is strongly committed to the existing community pharmacy network which serves the needs of Australians so well. This network is the preferred method of the delivery of medicines made available through the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme which provides equitable access to a range of cost effective pharmaceuticals to the community.
“All programs and services should make best use of both the pharmacist workforce and the established infrastructure of community pharmacy.
“Dispensing and supply of medicines is a key consumer entry point into community pharmacy services. The dispensing and supply of medicines encompasses multiple components of professional activities and should be recognised and remunerated as a health service rather than a supply function.
“Professional programs must focus on the consumer and be funded and delivered on the basis of clinical need. PSA believes in a community pharmacy model which promotes the delivery of quality primary health care services to meet consumers’ healthcare needs.
“Each professional program is a unique, cost-effective response to identified health care needs in the community and as such should be considered on its own merits for inclusion in or exclusion from 6CPA.
“It is inappropriate for any program funding proposal under consideration for 6CPA to be subjected to any ‘trade-offs’ against or perceived as ‘compensation’ for other programs as occurred in 5CPA.
“These key principles are the guiding criteria in our efforts to secure the best possible Agreement for you, our members.”