PSA Media Releases – Gold Medal Award to Canberra Graduate 2. Remuneration Reform Needed for Pharmacists

Canberra graduate honoured with Gold Medal Award
April 2, 2017
University of Canberra (UC) pharmacy graduate Dr Kathleen Otto has been honoured with a prestigious Award sponsored by Australia’s peak national body for pharmacists, the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA).

Gold Medal Award winner
(L-R) – Caroline Khalil with Dr Kathleen Otto

Dr Otto received the Gold Medal Award, presented at the Canberra Student Pharmacy Association (CaSPA) Ball on April 1, for the best overall student completing the Master of Pharmacy by coursework degree with a minimum of a distinction over the entire course.

PSA ACT Branch Director Caroline Khalil said she was delighted to present the Award to Dr Otto in recognition of her outstanding effort and achievement.

“Kathleen comes from regional Queensland and has returned to complete her internship at Toowoomba Hospital. It’s pleasing to see pharmacists returning to their communities to contribute, particularly in regional areas where they have so much to offer as healthcare professionals,” Ms Khalil said.

PSA ACT Branch President Patrick Reid congratulated Dr Otto, saying the standard expected to win the Award was high.

“As the peak national body for all pharmacists, PSA is proud to once again sponsor this Award, especially when we see the incredible calibre of pharmacists graduating from the university,” Mr Reid said.

“The skills and knowledge displayed by pharmacists, plus their strong commitment and enthusiasm, highlights that the future of Australia’s pharmacy profession is in excellent hands.

“I sincerely congratulate Dr Otto as well as all of the UC pharmacy graduates displaying excellence in their pharmacy studies. They are wonderful ambassadors for both the university and their chosen profession.”

Reform needed to boost remuneration and wages for pharmacists
April 7, 2017

The peak national body for pharmacists, the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA) is providing expert advice and evidence in support of a case to increase the Award wage for pharmacists.

PSA agreed to be called as an expert witness in a review of the Award before the Fair Work Commission (FWC) to highlight changes in pharmacist practice since the Award was last reviewed in 1998.

PSA National President Joe Demarte said not only was PSA best placed to provide expert advice, given its lead role in developing and implementing practice standards and guidelines on behalf of the profession, but the organisation was strongly committed to improving remuneration and wages for pharmacists working in all sectors of the profession.

“Standards, Codes and Guidelines produced by PSA clearly highlight the increasing complexity and professional healthcare services provided in pharmacist practice in Australia, which needs to be better reflected in pharmacists’ remuneration,” Mr Demarte said.

In calling for better remuneration for pharmacists to work to their full scope of practice to optimise healthcare for Australians, Mr Demarte said remuneration has been a major focus for PSA over the past 18 months, especially following discussions at the PSA16 conference and national roadshow events, involving hundreds of pharmacists.

As the peak body for all pharmacists, PSA also made a comprehensive submission to the Government’s Review of Pharmacy Remuneration and Regulation last year, calling for more appropriate, evidence-based payment models for pharmacist services.

Some of PSA’s key recommendations included:

  • Pharmacist services remunerated by Government should allow for flexibility in terms of service setting to most appropriately meet consumers’ needs
  • A more appropriate payment model for pharmacist services is one that recognises and remunerates pharmacists based on the complexity of the presenting consumer’s situation and/or services provided.

Mr Demarte said: “PSA is working proactively to improve remuneration for the whole profession by supporting pharmacists to work at their full scope of practice.

“We will continue to explore reforms and solutions to improve income and wages across the entire sector, including through access to remuneration outside of the existing 6th Community Pharmacy Agreement and hospital funding.”

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