Australian Medical Association slams pharmacy guild

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Australian Medical Association President, Dr Bill Glasson, today branded moves by the Pharmacy Guild of Australia to have pharmacists usurp some of the core public health functions of community GPs as mischievous, irresponsible and a poor prescription for Australian patients.

Pharmacy Guild President, Mr John Bronger, revealed today that the Guild is entering negotiations with the Federal Government to extend the role of pharmacists to administer vaccinations and monitor conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure.

Dr Glasson said the Guild’s plan would do nothing to improve public health and he does not believe it reflects the views of grassroots pharmacists.

“This plan will not benefit patients,” Dr Glasson said.

“Pharmacists in Australia are not trained in vaccination procedures and very few pharmacies have the necessary facilities for patient privacy and a sterile medical environment.

“The Guild’s plan would seriously undermine the delivery of quality medical care to the Australian community.

“There are already strong links at the local level in towns and suburbs between pharmacists and GPs.

“They work cooperatively in their areas of skill and expertise to provide comprehensive care for the patients in their area, especially with chronic conditions like diabetes and high blood pressure.

“By pushing this plan, the Guild is insulting hardworking local GPs and pharmacists and promoting an unnecessary threat to Australia’s high standard of primary care.

“The AMA will be advising the Government to reject the Guild’s plans outright,” Dr Glasson said.

Dr Glasson said there are areas of Australia, particularly in rural Queensland and Tasmania, where GPs currently prescribe and dispense medicines for their patients.

“This is a highly efficient practice that is welcomed by patients and should be looked at more closely by the Federal Government

“The AMA will raise these important issues in upcoming meetings with Health Minister, Tony Abbott,” Dr Glasson said.

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