Speaking up for pharmacists

Proper remuneration and representation is essential for pharmacists to work at their full scope of practice, says Emma McBride

Speaking to AJP at APP2021, Emma McBride, pharmacist and MP said she was fully supportive of moves to allow pharmacists to practice to their full scope, saying it would be benefits to both health outcomes and the budget bottom line.

Ms McBride, currently the ALP’s Deputy Shadow Minister for Health, said “as a pharmacist myself, trained in mental health and immunising, I know there’s lots of specialisations that pharmacists have to offer.

Whether it’s in aged care, mental health and suicide prevention, as diabetes educators, there’s so many pharmacists that have expertise and experience that if they were able to work to their full scope they would be able to contribute even more to the health and wellbeing of our community.”

“In the past we’ve been defined by the setting we work in… I think these barriers are breaking down and pharmacists should be working wherever medicines are managed,” she said.

“I would like to see, as part of a future ALP government, that pharmacists and other allied health workers are able to work to their full scope of practice, and are properly remunerated for that”.

Shadow Minister for Health Mark Butler introduced Ms McBride as the first ever female pharmacist to sit in Federal Parliament.

While she says this wasn’t something she was aware of when first elected, Ms McBride says that as pharmacy is now a “predominantly female profession” and she would like to see this demographic reality better reflected in all levels of decision making, “within pharmacy ownership, directors of hospital pharmacies, within the federal parliament”.

“Until our decision making bodies reflect the pharmacy workforce, we’re limiting ourselves and we’re not going to see pharmacists reach their full potential and work to their full scope until we have proper representation of women and other underrepresented groups”.  

See the interview below:

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