Home' Australian Pharmacist : Australian Pharmacist January 2012 Contents 12 Australian Pharmacist January 2012 I ©Pharmaceutical Society of Australia Ltd.
Mr Smith said one of the hardest things,
but also greatest things, is knowing
everyone who walks into the pharmacy.
'You build a great rapport with people
and are on a first name basis with
customers, but you also see some people
struggle with their health and that's
As a pharmacist academic, Mr Smith
hopes he can continue to make a
difference in the community for as long as
A new health minister
PSA has welcomed the appointment of
Sydney-based Tanya Plibersek MP as the
new Minister for
Minister Julia Gillard
said that given
the breadth of
health and aged care agenda two Cabinet
Ministers would be responsible for it.
While Tanya Plibersek would be the new
Health Minister, Mark Butler MP would
enter Cabinet as the Minister for Mental
Health and Ageing, with responsibility for
Social Inclusion as well.
PSA National President, Grant Kardachi,
said Ms Plibersek's appointment brought
a wealth of experience and knowledge
into the critical health portfolio at a time
the whole sector was facing challenges of
an unprecedented nature.
Medicines Australia, ASMI and the
Pharmacy Guild of Australia also
welcomed her appointment as
Mr Kardachi said, 'Ms Plibersek brings
to this portfolio experience and
commitment which will be a strong
foundation for the challenges and
imperatives that this role presents. Two of
Ms Plibersek's long-standing priorities are
saving Medicare and ensuring accessible
health care for all Australians -- areas in
which pharmacists play a critical but
often under-utilised role.
'I look forward to working with Ms
Plibersek to help achieve these goals,
as well as others which will improve the
health outcomes of Australians and help
to meet the Government's health reform
Mr Kardachi also congratulated Mr
Butler on his appointment to Cabinet.
'At PSA we have enjoyed a wide range of
dealings with Minister Butler in the past
and have always been impressed by his
knowledge and understanding of the
pharmacy profession,' Mr Kardachi said.
'His appointment to Cabinet means his
expertise, ideas and deep commitment
to improving the wellbeing of
Australians will be more fully utilised to
the benefit of all health consumers.'
Mr Kardachi thanked outgoing
Health Minister Nicola Roxon for her
contribution in helping to develop the
collaborative health-care model which is
seeing greater inclusion of pharmacists
as health-care clinicians.
'Ms Roxon's vision for health in Australia
has resulted in sweeping and ongoing
reforms which PSA supports as the
way forward for a sustainable and
cost-efficient health-care system'.
The Pharmacy Guild welcomed Mark
Butler's elevation to Cabinet as it
reflected the significance of mental
health issues and of aged care. It also
congratulated outgoing Health Minister
Nicola Roxon on her appointment as
Australia's first female Attorney-General
saying she was an outstanding Minister
for Health and Ageing, and had left her
mark on health care in Australia through
a wide-ranging set of reforms.
Medicines Australia chief executive
Dr Brendan Shaw welcomed the
appointments of Ms Plibersek as
Minister for Health and Greg Combet
as Minister for Industry and Innovation.
Dr Deon Schoombie the Executive
Director of ASMI, said the organisation
was delighted that the health portfolio
would continue under the responsibility
of a dedicated and effective Minister.
Stigma still common
The distress and discrimination
experienced by many people with a
mental illness is still widespread.
New research by SANE Australia has
found that the stigma associated with
their illness is as widespread as it was
five years ago.
It found that 73% of the 400+ people
surveyed said they had experienced
stigma or discrimination in the last 12
months because of their mental illness.
A survey by SANE in 2006 found that
74% of respondents said they had
personal experience of stigma.
Executive Director of SANE Australia,
Barbara Hocking said, 'Damaging
stereotypes associated with mental
illness cause enormous distress and
it is really unacceptable that as we
begin 2012 so many people still have
to combat stigma and discrimination
which stops them from living full and
On the positive side, Ms Hocking said
more than three in four (77%) people
described media coverage of depression
in the last two years as 'good' or 'fair'.
However, the majority of respondents
described coverage of less common
mental illnesses such as schizophrenia
and bipolar disorder during the same
period, as 'poor'.
'The more responsible media reporting
of depression has encouraged people to
start talking about it, to seek help and to
feel less excluded,' Ms Hocking said.
'Most people get their information
about mental illness from the media
and so the way the media portrays
these complex issues is important in
shaping community understanding
and acceptance of people affected.
Many people report that the stigma
they experience is as distressing as the
symptoms of their illness.
'We must increase our efforts to educate
Australians about illnesses such as
schizophrenia and bipolar disorder
and support and encourage the media
to report responsibly. We also need
to hear personal stories directly from
people who are affected. Mental illness
is common. With one in five of us
affected every year, reducing stigma
is an important issue for everyone,' Ms
(See page 26: Crossing the professional
divide provides hope for mental health.)
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