Home' Australian Pharmacist : Australian Pharmacist August 2016 Contents Australian Pharmacist August 2016 I ©Pharmaceutical Society of Australia Ltd.
The Turnbull Government has survived its election health scare and
Sussan Ley remains Health Minister. But Ms Ley has a big job ahead.
The health issues that face Australia are
still there. The election has made no
difference to them. The population is
still ageing and chronic disease levels
continue to rise. Almost everyone either
has, or knows of a family member or
friend with, a chronic disease.
It was interesting that when announcing
his new-look Ministry the Prime Minister
Malcolm Turnbull’s first point was that
budget repair would be ‘a front of mind
issue’. Even more interesting was that his
second point was that his government
would implement its mental health
policy and Health Care Home policy,
‘as an important reaffirmation of our
commitment to a first-class health system’.
Ms Ley’s reappointment as Health
Minister was widely welcomed by peak
health organisations, including PSA.
PSA National President Joe Demarte
said: ‘Effective inter-professional
collaboration is critical to the future
sustainability of the Australian health
system, and as such, should be a key
priority for the incoming Government.
We stand ready to work with the
Government and Health Minister to
implement key health reforms outlined
in PSA’s Election Manifesto 2016,
which highlighted the important role
pharmacists’ can play in improving the
sustainability and effectiveness of the
New Australian Medical Association
President Dr Michael Gannon said that,
‘having admitted that health worked
against the Government in the election,
the Prime Minister must also take an
active role in setting a new health policy
direction for the Coalition.’
‘ The Government must consult closely
with the whole health sector in the
development of new health policies
and the reshaping of existing policies to
ensure better outcomes,’ Dr Gannon said.
It will be interesting to see how the
Government approaches health in
the coming months. Ms Ley outlined
the government health agenda in a
statement after being re-appointed as
She said the Turnbull Government had
developed a ‘bold and ambitious health
reform agenda needed to deliver a
first-class, universal health system’.
‘ This includes protecting the future
of Medicare and ensuring it remains
universally accessible to all Australians,
as well as tackling the growing burden
of chronic disease through our Health
Care Homes. This work will continue to
be complemented by integrated reforms
to mental health, medicines, hospital
funding, rural health, aged care, dental,
private health insurance, vaccinations,
sports participation and preventive
health,’ she said.
Ms Ley also said, ‘we must not be afraid
to ask the tough questions and ensure
every taxpayer dollar spent on health
lands as close to the patient as possible.
A failure to ensure our national health
spend is efficient will ultimately fail the
patients who need it most.’
Only time will tell how the Turnbull
government will balance the need for
‘budget repair’ with the healthcare needs
Going forward, the question now for
pharmacy is this – How can pharmacists
tap into the government’s health
priorities to progress the development
and introduction of evidence-based
The simple answer is the same as it
always has been – provide governments
with solutions to the nation’s healthcare
issues and not be perceived as an
obstacle in the way of reaching a solution.
The adoption by state governments of
pharmacist-delivered immunisation is a
text book example.
To end on a positive note, rural health
professionals will no doubt be heartened
by the appointment of Dr David Gillespie,
the National Party MP for the rural NSW
seat of Lyne as the Assistant Minister for
Rural Health. Before entering Parliament
in 2013, he spent 33 years in medical
practice, including 21 years as a specialist
gastroenterologist and consultant
specialist physician in Port Macquarie.
Congratulations should also go to
hospital pharmacist Emma McBride, the
new Labor member for Dobell in NSW.
She was formerly the Chief Pharmacist at
the Wyong Hospital and more recently
Deputy Director of Pharmacy for Central
Coast Local Health District. Pharmacy can
always use friends in Canberra.
repair and healthcare
BY ANDREW DANIELS
» CANBERRA COMMENTARY
Andrew Daniels is Managing Editor of Australian
Pharmacist. Opinions expressed in this column are
not necessarily those of the Pharmaceutical Society,
its Board or staff.
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