Ministers welcomed by pharmacy groups


Congratulations have followed the reappointment of Sussan Ley as Health Minister, although some are taking the opportunity to highlight the work that needs to be done

“It is an honour to be reappointed as Minister for Health, Aged Care and Sport,” Sussan Ley has announced.

She has thanked the Prime Minister for the opportunity to continue “protecting the future of Medicare” as well as “tackling the growing burden of chronic disease through our Health Care Homes,” adding that the Turnbull government has developed “a bold and ambitious health reform agenda”.

“I look forward to continuing to work closely with our stakeholders to ensure we appropriately balance the needs of patients with the need to protect the long-term sustainability of universal health care in this country,” says Ley.

Ken Wyatt is staying on as Assistant Minister for Health, heading up the portfolio alongside Ley.

Former gastroenterologist Dr David Gillespie has been appointed as the new Assistant Minister for Rural Health, and will be assisting Fiona Nash who retains her portfolio as Minister for Rural Health.

Gillespie is the National Party Member for Lyne, in regional NSW.

The Pharmacy Guild of Australia has congratulated Ley and took the opportunity to highlight the importance of the 6CPA initiatives.

“The Guild wishes to congratulate Minister Ley and the Coalition government on their election success,” says a spokesperson. “We look forward to working with the Minister on implementing Sixth Community Pharmacy Agreement programs we know she is keen to expedite in this term of government.”

“We look forward to meeting and working with David Gillespie, the new Assistant Minister for Rural Health.

“And as the Guild represents small business owners, we also look forward to meeting and working with Michael McCormack, the new Minister for Small Business,” says the spokesperson.

McCormack is the National Party Member for Riverina, in south-west regional NSW. He takes over from Kelly O’Dwyer in this portfolio.

PSA National President Joe Demarte says the government’s support for the Health Care Homes initiative is encouraging.

“PSA congratulates Minister Ley on her reappointment and looks forward to working with her and the government to ensure the Health Care Home initiative is appropriately funded and based on best practice, evidence-based models of care which utilises pharmacists,” says Demarte.

The Society of Hospital Pharmacists of Australia (SHPA) has congratulated Ley and pointed out the importance of current review of the Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS).

“The current review of the MBS will ensure that all scheduled items are appropriate practice and evidence based. SHPA strongly supports the funding of clinical pharmacist services onto the MBS,” says SHPA CEO Kristin Michaels.

Michaels also brought up the importance of antimicrobial resistance, calling on Ley to follow through on the Coalition’s budget commitment of $9.4 million towards tackling the issue.

Medicines Australia says the government needs to more in health within a “challenging budget environment”.

“It’s therefore of critical importance that reform focuses on inefficiencies and that precious health dollars are prioritised towards outcomes for patients which are proven to be not only clinically effective but cost effective too,” says a Medicines Australia spokesperson.

ASMI Chief Executive Officer Deon Schoombi, says the organisation is keen to progress regulatory reforms on consumer communication of Pharmacist-Only (Schedule 3) Medicines.

It is also looking forward to an overhaul of the scheduling framework, and provisions for market exclusivity and data protection of over-the counter and complementary medicines to incentivise innovation.

“These regulatory reforms would stimulate investment and innovation by the non-prescription medicines sector, and take pressure off the already stretched health budget. We are eager to maintain momentum on these reforms now the election is behind us and the ministry is confirmed,” says Schoombie.

“These regulatory reforms would stimulate investment and innovation by the non-prescription medicines sector, and take pressure off the already stretched health budget.

“We are eager to maintain momentum on these reforms now the election is behind us and the ministry is confirmed,” he adds.

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