There are two ways pharmacy is likely to go as a result of the current review of health and hospital funding by the Rudd Government being driven by Health Minister Nicola Roxon.
One way is that preferred by this writer and described in the August edition of i2P (Click here). Pharmacies will become a much more professional outlet linked to primary health care facilities and paying a much lower rent than existing pharmacies in the retail shopping centres or strips.
The second and that preferred by people such as the former Chairman of the Australian Consumer Competition Council Allan Fells and described in an article in The Age newspaper on 23rd August 2008 advocate the presence of pharmacies in supermarkets.
For full article click here.
Let’s face it – supermarkets would not be interested in pharmacies if they were operating under the model described in i2P in August. A highly professional pharmacy practice integrated with primary health care would leave the opportunity to dispense in the distant retail complex a remote possibility. All supermarket operators see now is pharmacies behaving like supermarkets which must make them (and Professor Fells) wonder – “why not us too?”
Don’t say it! – It has been said for as long as this senior citizen can remember – yes! Pharmacy is at the crossroads and always will be until somebody in the profession has the guts to make the hard decisions to take it down the road to professional practice.
Get out of the retail complex or shopping strip and get to where you should be – alongside other health professionals.
The rules of the Australian Community Pharmacy Authority need to be changed to allow free relocation to anywhere that smells like a doctor’s surgery. Not this stupid rule now that says there has to be eight full time doctor equivalents before a move can be made.
If pharmacists do not do this doctor’s will be dispensing from machines in their surgeries and pharmacy will be left to battle it out for a share of the retail dollar with the supermarket chains.
A reader of the August article calling for a review of the infrastructure in which pharmacists work made this comment:
“…any part of the health care system that gets as much money as pharmacy (with as little attention paid to outputs and outcomes) should be quaking in their shoes at the thought of what the fifth Pharmacy Agreement will bring!”
Do something – don’t just sit there hoping someone else will.
Be active – write a letter – support the call for pharmacy to be with primary health care.
You do want it to happen don’t you so have a say and lets turn the lights green to professional practice pharmacies competing with supermarkets for the prescription dollar and sending them all back to the stop sign.
Remember an important fact. Quote from the Department of Health Website (click here) that:
The Government pays:
- A fee for the pharmacist’s professional advice and services in dispensing the medicine to the patient.
Ask yourself – am I giving the “professional advice” I am being paid for?
Comment to the Editor or email Rollo Manning on firstname.lastname@example.org