Professional Pharmacists Australia has welcomed PSA’s call to optimise pharmacy.
Sunday, 12 October 2014
However, PPA believes pharmacy can only be optimised if all pharmacy stakeholders – including 20,000 employee community pharmacists, hospital pharmacists and millions of consumers – are represented and involved in the upcoming 6CPA negotiations.
PPA CEO Chris Walton said that it was “extremely concerning” that The Guild and now PSA, could imagine themselves as the only pharmacy stakeholders needed at the 6CPA negotiating table and as signatories to a new agreement.
“Community pharmacists want to see 6CPA make a genuine difference to the health outcomes of the Australian community – they can’t do that from the sidelines, they need to be part of the negotiations.
“We simply can’t have a situation where 20,000 employee pharmacists, hospital pharmacists and millions of Australian consumers, are cut out of a process that determines the shape and form of $15.4 billion of pharmacy services over the next five years.
“No one or two groups could ever adequately represent the whole industry in these negotiations. 6CPA needs to draw on the contributions of all stakeholders, and exclude none.
Mr Walton said that as the PSA membership included both owners and employees it was reasonable to expect that in 6CPA negotiations, they could easily find themselves “conflicted” as to whose interests they should act in.
“When it comes to the crunch in negotiations, who are they going to side with, owners or employees? We are concerned that the ideas and needs of 20,000 employee community pharmacists could easily be forgotten at a pivotal time.
“All stakeholder groups need a seat at the table. This is what will deliver the best version of pharmacy for the future.
“This is so serious we have called on the Prime Minister to act in the interests of all Australians, and intervene, to ensure consumers and employed pharmacists are part of 6CPA negotiations.
“The pharmacy environment had changed dramatically in the past decade, the Guild and PSA are now only two out of many voices. With only one or two groups at the table, we face the very real possibility of 6CPA being negotiated by pharmacy owners, for pharmacy owners.
“We do have an opportunity to strengthen community health outcomes by drawing on the knowledge and capacity of community pharmacists, and by responding to the needs of consumers, but that can only happen if these and a range of other groups are involved in 6CPA.
“The current policy settings have failed on several fronts. The community is not getting best value for money and employee pharmacists are entangled in retail sales, rather than using their professional knowledge and skills. It is clear we need change and to get the best result, we need everyone involved,” said Mr Walton.