Scope, NIP change afoot

TrentTwomey., Peter Gutwein, Helen O'Bryne
TrentTwomey, Peter Gutwein and Helen O'Byrne

The Guild has congratulated the re-elected Gutwein Government, noting it has pledged to review scope of practice

Patients of community pharmacies across Tasmania will benefit from the re-elected Government’s promises to enable pharmacists to provide more services for the communities they serve, says the Pharmacy Guild.

Tasmanian Branch President Helen O’Byrne congratulated the Gutwein Government on its election victory at Tasmania’s election over the weekend

“The re-election of Premier Peter Gutwein and his Government marks a milestone for community pharmacies in this State and for their patients,” Ms O’Byrne said.

“The Government has pledged to review pharmacists’ scope of practice in Tasmania and by any measure this must mean that we will soon be able to provide to patients more of the services we are trained for and qualified to deliver.

“This will be a major step in improving health outcomes for patients while also helping to ease pressure on doctors and hospitals.”

Ms O’Byrne said the Government’s commitment to maintain current ownership provisions for community pharmacies provided certainty for the small business owners who make up the sector.

“Community pharmacies can now plan for the future confident in the knowledge that their ownership rights are being maintained,” she said.

“This is especially important given the uncertainty and challenges the sector has faced during the past 18 months or so.”

Ms O’Byrne said a significant commitment by the Government was its promise to enable pharmacists to provide vaccines under the National Immunisation Program.

“At present only Western Australia, Victoria and the ACT allow pharmacists to immunise under the NIP and Tasmania’s promise shows leadership in the necessary move towards having all pharmacies across the country being eligible to deliver NIP vaccines,” she said.

“We look forward to continuing to work closely with the Government and helping to ensure a smooth and speedy implementation of these commitments.”

National President of the Guild Professor Trent Twomey also congratulated the Gutwein Government on its re-election and said its commitment to the NIP was especially significant.

“Community pharmacies have already provided close to 300,000 flu vaccinations this year, and this follows more than three million last year,” he said.

“But only community pharmacies in Victoria, the ACT and WA can provide patients over the age of 65 with the vaccine under the NIP.

“The inconsistency between States and Territories over NIP vaccines needs to be addressed as a matter of urgency and Tasmania’s determination to act on this quickly is a welcome initiative which should serve as a beacon to those States and Territory that are yet to act. 

“Quite simply community pharmacies in all States and Territories need to be included under the National Immunisation Program, and this will mean patients over the age of 65 will be able to receive the over 65 vaccine in all jurisdictions.

“The States and Territory where the NIP is not available through community pharmacies are lagging and need to get their acts together. They are failing their communities while they dither about.”

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  1. Red Pill

    It’s always worrying when an owner’s corporation is actively seeking to expand the pharmacists scope of practice rather than a professional body. We all know how this story will end.

    • Sean Gannon

      Just as long as everything stays under their roof. God forbid pharmacists find an economically viable way to ply their trade outside the four walls of the community pharmacy, that might drive up wages to a level commensurate with the work and force owners to improve conditions. Maybe we could convince the Guild to remove the cap on HMRs if we get pharmacists to make lots of armaforce add-on sales during their home visits.

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