Healthcare giant says rejection of ‘Guild lobbying’ for increased ownership regulation is a win for consumers
Ramsay Health Care says it welcomes the recommendations of the Queensland Pharmacy Inquiry which found there was no need to set up another bureaucratic statutory body to oversee pharmacy ownership in Queensland.
“The Committee has rejected outright any need to establish a separate Pharmacy Council in Queensland, which was lobbied for by the Pharmacy Guild. It’s a win for common sense and for Queensland consumers,” said Ramsay Pharmacy CEO Peter Giannopoulos.
He said the debate needed to be refocussed around the needs and interests of consumers, not “lobby groups”.
Mr Giannopoulos said Ramsay supported the recommendation to establish an advisory group, consisting of an expert panel of independent advisors, that would not assume any
regulatory responsibility, but would be on call to advise and assist Queensland Health.
“Provided the composition of this panel is independent and free of any undue influence by
lobby groups, and includes representation from a wide stakeholder group including
consumers, this is a positive step,” he said.
He said the processes that occurred when Ramsay franchisees transferred over during the purchase of Malouf Pharmacy formed “a good basis for the standards required for pharmacy transactions going forward”.
“The acquisitions of pharmacies by Ramsay Pharmacy franchisees have all passed the legal requirements in Queensland, NSW and Victoria, and were subject to rigorous assessment and approval processes.”
Ramsay was intending to further expand its community franchise network in order to deliver “better value and out of hospital care for people across Queensland”, he added.
Mr Giannopoulos said the Committee also found no evidence that other Australian states with pharmacy councils have better community outcomes, no evidence that the existing premises regulation is resulting in unsafe conditions in pharmacies in Queensland; and no evidence that more intensive enforcement of ownership restrictions would provide greater consumer benefits in Queensland.