The PSA has welcomed Victorian Government funding initiatives to improve access to pharmacist services and to progress the implementation of real time reporting to help reduce inappropriate use of some medicines.
In the Budget announced last night, the Victorian Government committed $28.7 million for 15 metropolitan and five rural 24-hour, seven-day-a-week pharmacies; $300,000 for planning and development of a real time prescription monitoring system; and a $117.8 million increase in mental health funding.
Acting Victorian Branch President of the PSA, Ben Marchant, said the funding would increase delivery of pharmacist services to Victorian consumers and help to improve health outcomes.
“The commitment to progressing real time prescription reporting aligns with PSA calls in its recent policy paper, Minimising harm from the inappropriate use of over the counter analgesics, to implement such a system,” Marchant says.
“PSA supports real-time recording and reporting for codeine and the Victorian Government move is an important step in managing and identifying possible inappropriate use of some medicines, while also focussing on the continued Quality Use of Medicines.”
Marchant says PSA has experience and expertise in developing after-hours pharmacy services and looked forward to working with the Government to help develop and implement these services.
“The 24/7 pharmacy model increases patient access to vital services while also reducing pressure on doctors and hospital services,” he says.
“They recognise the changing needs of many people who cannot readily access a pharmacy during regular opening hours. The PSA has experience in implementing after-hours pharmacy services and looks forward to sharing this experience with the Victorian Government.
“The increased spending on mental health is particularly welcome and is something PSA has long advocated for. The pharmacist is more often than not the first healthcare professional a person with mental illness may see, and so our role is fundamental to their wellbeing.
“As detailed in the recent National Review of Mental Health Programs and Services report by the Mental Health Commission, there is a strong role for pharmacists in assisting people with mental illness.
“The PSA has been involved in developing these roles – we anticipate seeing this role further integrated into the service mix for people with mental illness and will be seeking talks with the Government to help move this forward.”
Marchant says the Victorian Government has also committed $3.4 million to the coordinated public eye health program, The Vision Initiative, of which PSA was a major partner.