The PSA has taken aim at the SHPA over a comparison of care standards by community and hospital pharmacists in SHPA’s King Review submission
PSA national president Joe Demarte says statements in the SHPA submission calling for reform of community pharmacy were “ill-informed and divisive”.
“These sorts of invidious comparisons run counter to the Code of Ethics for pharmacists, which applies to pharmacists working in any area of the profession. Moreover, there is no basis in evidence for making such claims,” Demarte says.
“Community pharmacists in Australia are one of the largest, most trusted and most accessible groups of health professionals.
“Community pharmacies have provided and will continue to provide a vital network for primary and preventative community-based health care.”
Demarte also slammed SHPA’s “misleading” statements regarding PSA’s capacity to deliver policy assistance and expert advice to Government.
“Given PSA’s recognised role in providing this very expertise through the Federal Government’s Health Peak Advisory Bodies program funding, we are perplexed as to why SHPA would make this claim – it’s simply wrong,” Demarte says.
“PSA is proud to represent all sectors of the profession in delivering such high quality advice.”
As the peak national body for pharmacists, PSA has asked all pharmacy groups to focus firstly on the healthcare needs of Australians, Demarte says, and then to work together to progress ways to optimise the contribution of pharmacists in the health system to deliver high quality, evidence-based care that is appropriately remunerated.
SHPA’s Professor Michael Dooley had said that while all practising pharmacists can be considered experts in pharmacy, not all can be considered medicine specialists, and further credentialing and accreditation is required for delivery of more comprehensive cognitive services.
“SHPA fully supports the excellent contributions to patient care that thousands of pharmacists provide in community pharmacies across Australia every day,” he said.
“However, constraints in existing funding models and the commercial priorities of some are factors that must be acknowledged as barriers to the practice of pharmacists and the delivery of care.
“The community retail pharmacy setting must be significantly reformed to enable this to consistently occur.”
Demarte reiterated the extensive medicines expertise of all pharmacists, regardless of the setting in which they practice.
As highlighted in PSA’s submission to the Review of Pharmacy Remuneration and Regulation, the Competency Standards for pharmacists which all pharmacists are required to meet as a condition of their registration with AHPRA – clearly demonstrate this extensive expertise, he pointed out.