The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA) has called on the Federal Government to implement four key measures in its 2022-23 Budget Submission, enabling pharmacists to further improve health outcomes for Australians, particularly in residential aged care facilities and in regional Australia; and addressing unfair disparities that exist in pharmacist remuneration.
PSA national president, Associate Professor Chris Freeman, said that embedded pharmacists in Australia’s aged care workforce is well overdue.
“Ahead of next month’s Federal Budget, PSA has outlined to the Federal Government four key asks aimed at improving access to medicines and health care for Australians, particularly for residents in aged care facilities,” Freeman said.
“As medication experts and the custodians of medicine safety, pharmacists must play an even greater role in nation’s healthcare system by supporting aged care providers.
“PSA has been calling on the Government to provide funding for embedded pharmacists in residential aged care facilities for quite some time, to improve medication management, reduce medication-related harm, and to improve quality of life for their vulnerable residents.
“This will ensure that aged care facilities can consistently deliver a patient-centred, multidisciplinary service aimed at identifying, resolving and preventing medication-related problems such as polypharmacy and chemical restraint.
Freeman said it is crucial that service providers are allowed the flexibility to determine how they secure pharmacist services.
“Some facilities may choose to contract pharmacists through community pharmacies, some may choose to employ a pharmacist directly, or via a third party,” he said.
” It can’t be a one size fits all approach, as every facility is different.
According to Freeman, every day that a pharmacist is not working alongside aged care staff in caring for older Australians, is a day residents are in danger from medication harm.