March 3, 2015
Peak bodies collaborate to improve oral health in Victoria
The Australian Dental Association Victorian Branch, Dental Health Services Victoria and the Victorian Branch of the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia have launched a joint position statement on oral health.
Tooth decay is Australia’s most prevalent health problem, with more than half of all children and almost all adults affected. It is also the second most costly diet-related disease in Australia.
In addition, many health conditions have been linked to poor oral health including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, preterm birth, low birth weight and nutritional deficiencies in children and older adults.
This oral health position statement provides a foundation for pharmacists and the dental sector to work collaboratively to support better oral health in the community and consequently better general health.
Dr Deborah Cole, CEO DHSV, said pharmacists are easily accessible and trusted professionals so they are an important partner to work with to reduce the burden of oral disease in the community.
“The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia has shown great leadership in recognising the role that pharmacists can play and supporting their members to develop the knowledge and skills to include a focus on oral health in their everyday practice,” she said.
“This commitment further emphasises the fact that oral health is a very real problem in our community, the position statement is ground breaking and DHSV is proud to be involved.”
ADAVB President, Dr Bob Cvetkovic, said the association was proud to partner with DHSV and the PSA on the oral health initiative
“Pharmacists play a key role in health promotion in their everyday practice,” Dr Cvetkovic said.
“The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia’s commitment to educate pharmacists about delivery of high quality oral health care will assist in identifying and managing oral health conditions. This joint initiative will create relationships between dentists and pharmacists that didn’t previously exist, and support better oral health for the community.”
The President of the Victorian Branch of PSA, Michelle Lynch, thanked the support of ADAVB and DHSV in the initiative.
She said that pharmacists are in the ideal position to screen, educate and refer the public to appropriate information and treatment in oral care.
“A collaborative and multi-disciplinary approach is most effective in achieving our goals. A series of continuing professional development activities on oral health has been scheduled throughout the year.
“Pharmacists should make use of these opportunities to ensure they and their support staff are kept up to date and be ready to advise and help the public in this area” she said.
For further details contact: Bill Suen 0412 831 669
March 5, 2015
Intergenerational Report highlights opportunity for pharmacists’ skills to be better utilised
The findings of the Fourth Intergenerational Report, released today, highlight a range of areas where pharmacists’ skills and knowledge can be more fully utilised in an integrated and collaborative health system, the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia says.
The report projects that in 2054-55, there will be about 40,000 people aged over 100.
This is a dramatic increase, well over three hundred times the 122 Australian centenarians in 1974-75.
In addition, it says:
“In [2054-55] A greater proportion of the population will be aged 65 and over. The number of Australians in this age group is projected to more than double by 2054-55 compared with today. Both the number and proportion of Australians aged 85 and over will grow rapidly. In 1974-75, this age group represented less than 1 per cent of the population, or around 80,000 people. In 2054-55, it is projected that 4.9 per cent of the population, or nearly 2 million Australians, will be aged 85 and over.”
It also says that a driver for health spending will be changes in disease rates, in particular increased prevalence of chronic health conditions which increase demand for treatments.
National President of PSA, Grant Kardachi, said the costs associated with the forecast rise in the ageing and the increased spending on chronic disease were areas where a greater utilisation of pharmacists’ skills could make a difference.
“PSA has long been advocating that governments and policymakers recognise that the skills and knowledge of pharmacists can be better used in this country to support the health system,” Mr Kardachi said.
“The report says that changes will need to be made to policy settings and the measures put forward by successive governments to meet community demands and expectations.”
Mr Kardachi said the report also forecast that in today’s dollars, health spending per person would more than double from around $2,800 to around $6,500.
“Using pharmacists can help contain these costs and also help to maximise the health outcomes for the community for every dollar that is spent,” he said.
“As a nation we have to stop talking about using the skills of pharmacists better and starting acting to ensure these skills help to maintain a more sustainable health system.”