The testosterone is flowing in Canberra.
And we have seen Patrick Reid take a huge swipe at PSA’s position paper on the GP super clinic model and where pharmacy fits in the model.
In reading anything from PGA at the moment we have to remember that it’s a PGA election year and all are trying hard to be in the running.
GP super clinics are not the only area that sees pharmacy come to its cross roads and make some definite stands on which way we head in terms of modeling.
Rural and remote aboriginal health services are bleating loudly and continually to have pharmacists within their structures or better access to a pharmacist.
The QUMAX project in urban centres is a start but it still uses a pharmacist within a section 90 pharmacy.
I am aware of the need to protect the local pharmacy from being overlooked but a business case can be built for the situations where the local pharmacist is unwilling or unable to participate and a hospital pharmacy or an independent consultant pharmacist could equally provide the services required.
In section 100 we have a system that sees pharmacists acting as wholesalers and stockists and cleaners of imprest cupboards while the face to face counseling of patients about the effective management of their medicines is left in the hands of aboriginal health workers (AHW). I am not for one minute putting any slight on the AHW but any stores clerk can do supply and tidy-the model is upside down and showing no sign of being fixed in the current review.
Section 100 has a supply function and a QUM function and it needs fixing badly.
We have people like Andrew Roberts providing services that should be modeled and reused in other areas.
He is not alone there are several great examples of fantastic services being provided by pharmacists outside of a brick and mortar structure called section 90.
For example Lyn Short uses a boat in the Thursday Islands to provide her section 100 services and Peter in NT uses an aeroplane.
It still sits within a viable structure, no pharmacy owners are made to go bust because these guys are providing an alternative model.
Could we please stop postulating and look at some great research done in Australia over the past few years by people like Dr Lisa Nissen and her team at UQ; Jennifer Marriot and her team from Monash and many others.
Australian Pharmacy practice has to become more diverse in the models of delivery of pharmacy services soon or we will be the losers.
Already clinicians such as nurse practitioners, aboriginal health workers are performing roles that we could be doing if we could just get beyond our fevered view that everything has to link payments for services to section 90.
This is not a new concept.
I had my first DVA provider card in 1997 to provide RMMR’s to veterans and even managed to provide one DAA before that was scrapped.
Leone Coper fought long and hard on this issue in the late 90’s and we still are postulating.
The PGA represents owners and does a very good job at what they do but to protect the profession of pharmacy from encroachment by others alternative modeling has to be become a reality.