It’s time to hold political parties to account in “keeping their end of the bargain” with pharmacy, says Guild executive director David Quilty.
In this weeks’ edition of Guild newsletter Forefront, Quilty points out that it’s almost a year since the 6CPA was signed – but “not a single service has been delivered to a single patient through the Pharmacy Trial Program and this situation must be rectified as a matter of urgency”.
Quilty says the 6CPA was signed on the premise that the existing community pharmacy model would be maintained.
“In coming weeks, pharmacies are expecting political leaders to reaffirm their commitment to the ownership and location rules and to delivering the Agreement in full, including the significant funding for community pharmacy based services which are vital to the transformation of pharmacies,” Quilty writes.
“It is pleasing that the Leader of the Nationals, Barnaby Joyce, has already made a strong written election commitment to his Party’s ongoing support of community pharmacies.
“The Nationals have been consistent supporters of pharmacies, recognising their critical role in regional communities as health professionals, small businesses, and providers of local jobs and community investment.
“The Guild is pleased that the Nationals new Leader, Barnaby Joyce, has formally committed to maintaining his Party’s strong and longstanding support for community pharmacy.”
Mr Joyce wrote that the Nationals support the pharmacy ownership laws, which “deliver a diverse ownership base of thousands of small business proprietors rather than concentrating pharmacy in the hands of a handful of large corporates.
“The owner-operated model of pharmacists owning pharmacies mean that the health of regional Australians is put first and foremost by small business proprietors who live in and invest in their local communities.
“We strongly support the role that the pharmacy location rules have played in providing equitable access to the PBS for people living in regional Australia, encouraging pharmacies to locate in smaller regional communities rather than clustering in the big cities.”
At the time of writing, the Nationals polled 7% of AJP readers in our latest readership poll: Which party do you feel will best represent pharmacy?
Quilty says that community pharmacies, their staff and patients around Australia look forward to other Party leaders likewise showing their support for the sector in the coming days and weeks.