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Tuesday, August 9, 2022

Butler announces Onsite Aged Care Pharmacist Consultation Paper at PSA22

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Minister for Health and Aged Care Mark Butler has used his opening address at PSA22, the leading education and professional development conference for pharmacists, on Friday to officially launch the Federal Government’s consultation paper on the Onsite Aged Care Pharmacist Program.

He was joined by Assistant Minister for Mental Health and Suicide Prevention, and Rural and Regional Health, Emma McBride.

Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA) national president Dr Fei Sim welcomed the announcement and thanked the minister for his ongoing dedication to embedding pharmacists in residential aged care facilities.

“The Health Minister has this morning officially launched the Aged Care Engagement Hub, which will be used for consultation with the health sector on a variety of aged care programs, including the $345.7 million commitment to embed pharmacists in residential aged care facilities,” Sim said.

“The commitment is the largest spend in pharmacy outside of the Community Pharmacy Agreement, and will create up to 1500 opportunities for pharmacists over the next four years.”

Butler also acknowledged that PSA’s inclusion as a signatory in the 7th Community Pharmacy Agreement (CPA) was a positive step forward, and committed to PSA remaining a signatory in 8CPA, which is set to begin negotiations next year.

“PSA is the only professional body for pharmacists in all practice settings, and it is vital that we continue to be a signatory to the Community Pharmacy Agreements and ensure that the interests of the profession are recognised,” he said.

The minister spoke of his commitment to seeing health professionals, including pharmacists, practising to top of scope, and entrenching the role of pharmacist immunisers.

Butler also thanked PSA for working with the Government on the trial and roll out of the Take Home Naloxone (THN) program.

Sim said PSA is proud to have worked collaboratively with the Federal Government to roll out the THN program nationally, and ensure that lives can continue to be saved from severe opioid reactions.”

“Assistant Minister McBride, who has been a long time PSA member, also gave a passionate speech to the opening plenary, speaking to the hugely significant role of pharmacists and the importance of allowing us to practice to top of scope,” she said.

Sim said PSA is grateful to Butler and McBride for taking the time to attend PSA22 and to meet hundreds of pharmacists from around the country.

“We’re excited to give Australian pharmacists the opportunity to hear directly from the new Minister for Health on the Labor Government’s priorities for health and for the pharmacy sector.

“PSA sincerely thanks Minister Butler and Assistant Minister McBride for progressing the Government’s commitment to embedding pharmacists in residential aged care facilities and looks forward to working with the Government to ensure the program is successfully rolled out,” she said.

The PSA closed PSA22 on Sunday, the conference having brought hundreds of Australian pharmacists together to further their professional education and discuss the major issues facing the profession.

Sim said PSA22 was a great opportunity for pharmacists to come together, face to face after three years.

“Pharmacists played a significant role in the health and wellbeing of Australians, having been on the front lines of the COVID-19 response, and delivering more than 8 million COVID-19 vaccination doses to date,” she said.

“PSA22 has been a great opportunity for pharmacists from all around Australia to reconnect and celebrate what makes our profession great.”

“We were also able to recognise and celebrate our hardworking profession through a series of awards presented to outstanding pharmacists.”

The 2022 award winners are:

  • Symbion Pharmacist of the Year – A/Prof Faye McMillan (NSW)
  • Symbion Early Career Pharmacist of the Year – Deborah Hawthorne (VIC)
  • Symbion Lifetime Achievement Award – Terence White AO and Rhonda White AO (QLD)
  • MIMS Intern Pharmacist of the Year – Shaylee Mills (WA)
  • Locumate Locum Pharmacist of the Year – Sean Richardson (SA)
  • Viatris Pharmacy Student of the Year – Haylee Shaw (Tas.)
  • APSA Most Outstanding Oral Presentation winner – Lily Pham (NSW)
  • APSA Most Outstanding Poster Presentation winner – Oya Gulal (Vic.)

Sim announced that PSA23 will be held in Sydney, NSW in July 2023.

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