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Pharmacists need to be properly remunerated for providing vaccinations and other non-PBS services, pharmacist MP says

Federal MP and pharmacist, Emma McBride, has called in Parliament for the adequate funding of non-PBS services by pharmacists.

Ms McBride, ALP MP for Dobell, NSW, said “I and many others were pleased to see the government commit $200 million to supporting the administration of COVID-19 vaccines by community pharmacists.

I’ve undergone the training myself to be an immuniser, as have thousands of other pharmacists who are trained, prepared and ready to be part of this big nationwide effort”.

“Community pharmacists, at this stage, are expected to administer the AstraZeneca vaccine in phase 2, subject to approval, and it’s possible further vaccines will be approved for administration later in the year,” she said.

However, Ms McBride said the government needs to do more to ensure the ongoing viability of the increasing range of additional health services, such as vaccinations, being provided by pharmacists. 

“While this [funding announcement] is very welcome and I’m really pleased to see it, industry representative bodies have noted the clear recommendation from the King review that indicated the need to ensure adequate funding for services that pharmacists provide outside PBS expenditure”.

“Pharmacists, like general practitioners and other medical professionals, are required to adhere to the strict protocols to administer the vaccine to the community,” she said.

“GPs are concerned around the level of remuneration, and, intuitively, pharmacists are concerned as well, particularly given that they must adhere to the same criteria and, as it stands currently, for less remuneration”.

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