4 June 2015
Qld Branch President of PSA, Bruce Elliot, appointed to Primary Health Care Advisory Group
Pharmaceutical Society of Australia Queensland Branch President and community pharmacist owner from Yeppoon in Queensland, Bruce Elliot, has been appointed to the newly formed Primary Health Care Advisory Group which is part of a range of measures introduced in the Federal Budget to improve the health system.
Announcing the formation of the group, The Minister for Health Sussan Ley said: “The Advisory Group will investigate options to provide: better care for people with complex and chronic illness; innovative care and funding models; better recognition and treatment of mental health conditions; and greater connection between primary health care and hospital care.”
The appointment of Mr Elliot was announced by the Minister today, and follows advocacy by the PSA for a pharmacist appointment to the group. Mr Elliot is the only pharmacist on the 15-member group. Although he has been appointed for his knowledge and experience in the wider primary health care setting after completing a three-year term as the Chairman of Central Queensland Medicare Local, his experience as a community pharmacist, accredited pharmacist and pharmacy owner will ensure that the profession of pharmacy has a voice.
Mr Elliot said he was delighted and honoured by the appointment and looked forward to bringing to PHCAG the views and experience of a pharmacist.
“Pharmacists know that there is so much more we can add the healthcare system and I will be highlighting this in my work on the group,” Mr Elliot said.
“The skills and experience of pharmacists, as indeed for all clinicians in the primary care setting, have been greatly under-utilised for too long and we now have the opportunity to begin reversing this. The benefits to the community and the efficiencies gained for the entire health system will be great if all clinicians can work to their clinical capacities rather than complete just what they are funded to do.”
Mr Elliot said he would also highlight the need to expedite implementation of a workable eHealth platform arguing how a robust and user friendly system could save time for clinicians, dramatically improve patient outcomes whilst stemming unnecessary health costs.
“eHealth has the potential to make great differences in communication between patient and clinician, and also in ensuring continuity of care for vulnerable patients such as people with mental health issues and Australians living in rural and remote areas where the health dollar needs to stretch so far,” Mr Elliot said.
“We need to make the most of this system and the invigoration announced for eHealth is very positive and encouraging. I am also passionate driving the need for more clinical leadership and clinical governance training being introduced at the undergraduate level so that our future generation clinicians are best equipped to lead the way forward given the aging population and the ever increasing demands on our health system.”
June 4, 2015
Nominations for 2015 PSA Excellence Awards closing soon
Nominations for the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia prestigious Awards for Excellence – acknowledged as the pharmacy profession’s most sought-after awards close on Friday, June 26, 2015.
The awards, sponsored by Symbion, acknowledge and recognise some of the profession’s great achievers.
The awards are in three categories:
* Pharmacist of the Year
* Young Pharmacist of the Year
* Lifetime Achievement Awards.
National President of the PSA, Grant Kardachi, said members of the profession and the public were encouraged to nominate a worthy pharmacist for an award.
“These awards focus on pharmacists involved in innovative practice; those striving to raise practice standards; and those who, through their professionalism, provide a model of practice for others to emulate,” Mr Kardachi said.
“They are the pre-eminent award for pharmacists and represent a pinnacle of achievement for recipients.
“They honour those who have achieved and maintained the highest standards of commitment and professionalism in pharmacy.”
Brett Barons, General Manager Symbion, sponsor of the awards for the 11th consecutive year, said the pharmacists at all levels of the profession were inspired and motivated by the Excellence Awards.
“The Excellence Awards recognise those exceptional individuals who have contributed so much to the profession,” Mr Barons said.
“These awards are highly sought after and are a recognition of the expertise and achievements of exceptional members of an exceptional profession.
“They are an inspiration for all sectors of the profession and they highlight what is great about our industry and how those in it never cease to strive for excellence.”
The winners will be announced at the PSA15 conference in Sydney on July 31, 2015
The Pharmacist of the Year, Young Pharmacist of the Year and the Lifetime Achievement Award recipient each receive prizes including a Symbion Education Grant to the value of $9,000.
June 3, 2015
Pharmacists welcome national strategy to reduce the threat of antibiotic resistance
The announcement of a national strategy to reduce the threat of antibiotic resistance has been welcomed by the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia, which has been leading international efforts for a global pharmacy-wide approach to the problem.
The Australian Government has announced the new strategy following release of data showing Australia’s consumption of antibiotics is among the highest in the developed world with more than 29 million prescriptions for antibiotics supplied to more than 10 million patients – or 45 per cent of the population – in 2013.
National President of the PSA, Grant Kardachi, said the Government initiative would help focus efforts to address this growing problem.
“PSA has long advocated for action in this area and this year joined with the Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain to press the International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP), the global body representing pharmacy and pharmaceutical sciences, to take action on antimicrobial resistance (AMR),” Mr Kardachi said.
“As a result of this advocacy, FIP is developing a briefing document on the role of pharmacists in AMR, ready for its annual congress in Germany later this year.
“The FIP approach will aim to prompt action on the issue of antibiotics and AMR, and to serve as a foundation for future work within FIP on this topic, including a revision of the FIP statement on AMR.
“In addition, following our leadership in this area, the topic of AMR and responsible use of antimicrobials will also be discussed at a stakeholder roundtable held prior to the 2016 FIP Congress in Buenos Aires.”
Mr Kardachi said PSA believed that AMR presented significant public health risks and needed to be treated as a high priority both nationally and internationally.
“The Australian Government’s strategy is a very positive step in developing a cohesive and unified approach to addressing this growing problem,” Mr Kardachi said.
“As the medications experts, pharmacists can play a vital role in educating patients and advising them on the appropriate use of antibiotics.
“Antibiotics play a vital role in health management and wellbeing but too often they are not being used appropriately and this is an area where pharmacists’ advice is crucial.
“PSA welcomes the strategy and looks forward to working closely with the Government to help implement it and make a real difference.”