Editorial for Week Commencing Monday 26 January, 2015

Welcome to the new weekly edition of i2P – Information to Pharmacists dated Monday, 26 January 2015.We hope that you are enjoying the Australia Day festivities and reflecting on the fact that despite the occasional upset, Australia is really still the “lucky country”.
Perhaps we feel “hard done by” in the ranks of pharmacy as we get ready to launch ourselves into a new calendar year of battles and activities.

But I have always found throughout life that “the harder I work, the luckier I get”, and 2015 will be no exception.
Even if you find yourself in the realms of the unemployed, you can still work in preparation for the time you obtain gainful employment.

Work in any capacity creates opportunity and if you network at a number of levels, you can spread yourself around very quickly.

If you happen to be feeling a little “unloved” at the moment, we suggest that you read a short article written just for you.
Titled 15 Reasons to Date a Pharmacist we found this item on an eHarmony relationship website.
We initially thought it was a frivolous item, but we were genuinely surprised at the complimentary nature of the material.
And it comes from a non-pharmacy source dedicated to successfully creating new relationships!
In fact you will note that it could be legitimately adapted to a light-hearted segment of the current PGA “Ask” advertising campaign, as illustrated within the article.
At least it is a good complimentary item to start your year with a boost in self esteem.

In this edition we also release another reference article relating to the “future pharmacy” model and how it should start.
Look for an article titled Future Pharmacy Starting From a Compound Base.
While we are not advocating dumping the PBS system for community pharmacy, we are suggesting that it is long overdue for decisions to be made to be less dependent on the PBS system, and particularly to have a different but positive focus.
The federal government exerts extraordinary control over the lives of everyday pharmacists through the high degree of control it exerts through the PBS and with the PGA as the sole negotiator.
Within this process the PGA has become compromised and will never deliver the pharmacy model that provides professional job satisfaction coupled with adequate remuneration.
PGA members have simply not been proactive enough to tell their executive what they need and to also tell them to get on with the job and to stop worrying about hijacking everything inside pharmacy.
That will never work.
The decline in pharmacist wages is illustrative of this point, and the timing by the PGA to push awards even lower (through abolishing penalty rates for weekends) is short-sighted to say the least. This is a time when we should be planning to retain as many pharmacists as possible and build professional services within the system.

And while most pharmacists located within western economies are striving to be recognised as “providers”, please be advised that this status is totally within your own abilities.
You do not need government or other third party reimbursement to set up in this new paradigm. Simply build your own system for primary health care and follow your instincts.
i2P has already proven that this is a feasibility, and so have many other individuals.

If you wait for government recognition you could be waiting into your next lifetime – and that is just too long.
As evidenced by the PBS and health insurance companies, your practice will be “managed” from afar, and you will be drowned in overhead to save the central system from collapse.
Learn from PBS and move on.
In my lifetime I have seen delivery of primary health care from pharmacy done well and efficiently, and have seen this service undermined politically by the medical profession, right to this moment.
I guess we should congratulate ourselves that we are seen to be such a strong competitor to the medical profession.
But just strike out in your own direction and leave them behind because you hold a lot of aces, such as:

* everyone loves you- they want to date you and sign your petitions in voluminous numbers.

* you do have the common touch – you are approachable and everyone wants a bit of your time. If only you weren’t so buried under PBS paperwork and look so worried to the extent your patients are concerned about interrupting your day!

* patient engagement comes naturally to pharmacists. Surgeons have recently asked GP’s for help in patient engagement mentoring. Good luck to that!

* having a commercial wing (retail) you are distributed in prime accessible shopping locations throughout Australia. You can also manipulate retail to bring in new customers and convert them to patients. This is a resource other health professions try and build but nowhere near the scale of pharmacy (dentists try and build some retail sales, even doctors and specialists. We have a local skin specialist in my area who sells cosmetics to hide skin blemishes).

* waiting for public funding for any pharmacy service means that others (even the right wing medical Skeptics) join in a chorus of “modifiers” to the extent that any funded service barely covers costs and is “rationed” if and when it becomes successful.

Simply make a New Year resolution that you will be part of a pharmacy solution and publish your success as widely as possible. I2P would be pleased to hear from you.

Other articles this week include:
Telemedicine – a Promising Opportunity for Clinical Pharmacists by an i2P Staff Writer

Patient Engagement Involves a Knowledge Exchange by Peter Sayers

Signs Future Clinical Trials will be transparent  by Mark Coleman

Failure Isn’t Fatal  by Harvey Mackay

Plus media releases from PSA, ASMI and NPS.

Neil Johnston
i2P E-Magazine

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *