Support for young pharmacists

Greg Hunt launches new World Pharmacy Council Scholarship for ECPs

Federal Minister for Health and Aged Care Greg Hunt has announced the launch of the Young Pharmacist Global Exchange Scholarship at APP2021 on Thursday morning.

The scholarship, which is Federally supported as part of the 7CPA’s $1.2 billion commitment to professional programs, will be offered by the Australasian College of Pharmacy and the World Pharmacy Council.

The $100,000 program will allow newly registered early career pharmacists to learn about community pharmacy practices in another country.

It will fund an Australian early career pharmacist to work for up to one year in another World Pharmacy Council member country and for a young pharmacist from another Council member country to work for up to one year in Australia, when international travel restrictions are lifted.

Potential exchange countries include Denmark, Ireland, New Zealand, Portugal, Spain, the USA or the UK.

The thousands of early career pharmacists, graduates within their first five years of registration, working in Australia, are encouraged to express their interest for this once-in-a-lifetime experience.

“Learning first-hand how pharmacy services are administered in other countries will help the scholarship recipients build on their technical, operational and interpersonal skills, and that’s going to benefit not only their host pharmacies but the industry overall,” said Minister Hunt.

Pharmacy Guild national president Trent Twomey told delegates that the scholarship will initially involve one Australian pharmacist and one New Zealand pharmacist in the first year, with scope to open up to other countries as borders open in the future.

“Hopefully in 12 months time we will have both of those individuals here to present [at APP] about their experiences,” sent Adj Prof Twomey at APP2021.

Michelle Bou-Samra, president of the Australasian College of Pharmacy, said the scholarship is the first of several new opportunities the College will be offering to recent pharmacy graduates that go beyond the traditional course or seminar experience.

“The scholarship program is a practical way to engage the next generation of community pharmacy leaders in professional development that also offers personal development benefits,” said Ms Bou-Samra.

“Being immersed in another culture builds transferable skills like adaptability, confidence, resilience, problem-solving, collaboration and decision-making.”

World Pharmacy Council Vice President, Doug Hoey, welcomed the Australian Government’s support of the scholarship.

“Community pharmacy is recognised as a major part of primary healthcare systems worldwide and for many people, their relationship with a community pharmacy team is an important part of their support network,” said Mr Hoey, who represents the United States National Community Pharmacists Association on the Council.

“The Young Pharmacist Global Exchange Scholarship will facilitate a two-way exchange of skills and knowledge to both import and export experiences at a practical level,” said Mr Hoey.

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