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Developing partnerships provided many
opportunities not only for pharmacists
individually, but collectively they
demonstrated to the government, to the
health sector and to the public that the
pharmacy profession is absolutely pivotal to
the new health model in Australia.
'This new model is predicated on
health professionals working together,'
Mr Kardachi said.
'We for too long have been the unseen
health profession. Despite the fact
pharmacists are often the first health
professionals consulted by consumers,
and undisputedly the most accessible,
we have been overlooked by successive
governments who, while appreciating our
work and professionalism, tend to take us
'Of course we have the Community
Pharmacy Agreements but all too often
there appears to be a tendency to view
these as the be-all and end-all of pharmacy
participation in the health sector,
thus potentially excluding us from making
a greater contribution to a range of other
Mr Kardachi said it had to be recognised
that under the health reform agenda's
new model, taking pharmacists' services,
knowledge and skills for granted was no
longer an option.
'To do so is to jeopardise the viability
and sustainability of our profession,
Partnerships a key to
As pressure increase for changes to be
made to the pharmacy practice model the
need for pharmacists to be better prepared
for the introduction of new professional
services has taken on greater significance.
This was the message delivered by PSA
National President, Grant Kardachi, in his
address to the 800 delegates to PAC12.
Mr Kardachi said all
familiar with the
fact that dispensing
medicines has long
been the mainstay of
the profession and is
still core business.
'But this is changing as the whole
health-care environment evolves,' Mr
'One thing that is very clear is that
pharmacy in the future cannot grow
as an isolated profession.
'We must expand our professional
horizons and form partnerships with other
health professions; partnerships that
not only enhance us professionally and
business-wise, but partnerships which also
serve to improve health-outcomes for our
patients and customers -- the communities
and the health system, moving forward,' Mr
'However, like many other health professions,
we see the strength in partnerships,
strengths not only for our members but also
for the overall health of the community.
'We have been working hard over the past
12 months to develop and strengthen such
partnerships and now have in place working
arrangements with a variety of groups
including the Heart Foundation, Diabetes
Australia, the Optometrists Association,
Sexual Health and Family Planning Australia,
mental health and palliative care -- to name
but a few.
'Our involvement with such groups has
ranged from signing formal memorandums
of understanding, to agreements to work
together on projects, to collaboration on
These partnerships are often outside the
normal pharmacy sphere, or indeed comfort
zone, of some within the profession.
'I know some pharmacists may question
what benefits they may bring us,' he said.
'To these people I point out that times are
changing and if we stand still and not move
with those times, we will be left behind.
There is no right or wrong about the new
environment in which we are heading --
just a pragmatic need to be part of it, and to
be part of it we need the added strength of
allies and partners,' he said.
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