CEO of Professional Pharmacists Australia Chris Walton welcomed the new Consumers’ Health Forum (CHF) leadership team of Tony Lawson, chairman and Adam Stankevicius CEO, today.
Mr Walton said that he looked forward to working closely with the new team to achieve better community health outcomes, where pharmacists played a central role in primary healthcare teams.
“The Consumers’ Health Forum has always been a strong and passionate advocate for reform within the health sector. I’m sure Adam and Tony will continue this vital work and make a significant contribution to improving health outcomes for our community,” Mr Walton said.
“I welcome the impressive range of experiences and skills that both Adam and Tony bring to the challenges faced in the community healthcare system.”
Mr Walton said that “there has never been a more important time” for the Consumer Health Forum and Professional Pharmacists Australia to work together.
“It is clear that we need a system that recognises and supports professionals such as pharmacists, so that they are able to properly serve the needs of the community.”
“Currently we have a system rife with underpayment of employee pharmacists. In December, the Fair Work Ombudsman found that a quarter of Australia’s pharmacy owners were breaking workplace laws – including underpaying pharmacists and other staff.
“Not only do Australian pharmacists start out with the lowest pay of any university graduates, but the Fair Work Ombudsman’s report has revealed that thousands of them are subjected to illegal workplace practices throughout their careers.”
The Fair Work Ombudsman’s audit found 599 cases of pharmacists and other staff being underpaid, with more than $280,000 ordered to be paid back to pharmacy employees.
“The chronic underpayment of pharmacists is just one symptom of a health care system in desperate need of reform.”
“We believe strongly that it is only by working together, that we can improve healthcare outcomes. So we very much look forward to working with Tony and Adam in their new roles with the Consumer Health Forum.