Politics have played a strong role in this week’s events in the pharmacy sector…
In employment news, Professional Pharmacists Australia told us that wage theft was ‘rampant‘ and urged the re-elected Andrews Victorian Government to make good on its pledge to address it; and changes were made to improve access to flexible working conditions for employees. The National Union of Workers has accused Chemist Warehouse of having a bullying culture at two distribution centres in Victoria. Also in Victoria, pharmacy stakeholders welcomed new Health Minister Jenny Mikakos.
PSA‘s national peak health body funding was continued. AHPRA formally stated that it will review its policies and procedures following an attack on a pharmacist who reported a doctor’s prescribing to the body. And the Federal Government passed new legislation to strengthen privacy around My Health Record.
The SHPA outlined issues around opioids, highlighting the prevalence of prescribing them “just in case” and making recommendations including that the health sector stop referring to the medicines as “painkillers”. SHPA also handed out its awards: congratulations go to Associate Professor Ian Coombes, Dr Lisa Pont and Dr Rohan Elliott… as well as to Professor Michael Dooley, outgoing SHPA president, for his work over the last four year.
And one of pharmacy’s key events was held on Tuesday, as the Pharmacy Guild held its annual Parliamentary Dinner in Canberra, at which Prime Minister Scott Morrison alluded to extending the 6CPA. Opposition Leader Bill Shorten pledged to start 7CPA negotiations early if Labor is elected, while Greens leader Richard Di Natale called for transparency in funding of pharmacist activities. As George Tambassis said: it’s been a big year.