Home' Australian Pharmacist : June 2011 Contents Vol. 30 -- June #06
PSA Senate Committee
PSA Chief Executive Officer
Liesel Wett gave evidence to the
Senate Committee Inquiry into the
administration of health practitioner
registration by the Australian Health
Practitioner Regulation Agency
The committee was directed to
examine a number of areas of AHPRA,
including its capacity and ability to
implement and administer the national
registration of health practitioners and
also its performance in administering
the registration of health practitioners.
Ms Wett gave evidence in support of
PSA's submission to the inquiry.
In her opening address, Ms Wett
said PSA had a strong interest
in registration matters affecting
pharmacists and a close working
relationship with the Pharmacy
Board of Australia which had adopted
PSA's Professional Standards as the
benchmark for pharmacists' practice in
the delivery of patient care.
"The Committee may be aware that
the issues of concern to pharmacists
have overwhelmingly related to
delays in the registration process,
whether these were new applications,
transition from provisional registration
to general registration, or annual
renewals of registration. For this
reason, we do not know if there have
been concerns with other aspects
of administration by AHPRA and
therefore, we will not be commenting
on other matters today.
"I would however like to reiterate
PSA's support of the implementation
of a national registration scheme.
Given the significant scope of this
initiative, PSA recognised that some
teething problems were likely.
We understand that changes have
been effected or are planned by
Ms Wett said that ultimately,
PSA would like to see:
• greater transparency and
consistency in registration
processes and other activities which
directly affect health practitioners;
• effective and timely responses
to queries and in processing
• better communication with health
practitioners as well as stakeholder
organisations such as PSA.
"As health practitioner registration
affects the livelihood of individuals
and this can, in turn, have an impact
on health service delivery to the
public, PSA believes swift resolution
of outstanding issues is of primary
" she said.
Nominations for the pharmacy
profession's most prestigious
and sought-after awards, the
Pharmaceutical Society of Australia
Awards for Excellence, are now open.
The PSA's Pharmacist of the Year,
Young Pharmacist of the Year and
Lifetime Achievement Awards are
the most highly regarded awards
in the profession and represent the
profession's pinnacles of achievement.
The awards acknowledge the
achievers of the profession: those
involved in innovative practice; those
who are striving to raise practice
standards; and pharmacists who,
through their professionalism, provide
a model of practice which others
strive to emulate.
The award winners will be announced
at PAC11 in Melbourne in October
and nominations close on Thursday,
1 September 2011.
The awards are divided into three
• Lifetime Achievement Award
• Pharmacist of the Year
• Young Pharmacist of the Year
The Pharmacist of the Year and Young
Pharmacist of the Year each receive the
PSA Excellence Awards medal and the
Lifetime Achievement Award recipient
receives a commemorative glass
plaque. Each winner also receives a
Symbion Pharmacy Services Education
Grant to the value of $9,000.
National President of the PSA, Warwick
Plunkett, said the awards recognised
the highest standards of commitment
and professionalism in pharmacy.
"The recognition of the special
individual contributions to the
profession of pharmacy by individuals
is what makes these awards so sought
after and respected,
" Mr Plunkett said.
Patrick Davies, CEO of Symbion
Pharmacy Services, sponsors of the
awards for the seventh consecutive
year, said the awards inspired
pharmacists at all levels and in all
sectors of the profession to continue
to lift standards even higher so that
the quality of health care provided
through all pharmacies in Australia
was second to none.
"These awards highlight what is
great about our profession as well
as showcasing the outstanding work
being done by individuals within the
" Mr Davies said.
Nomination forms are available at
Flexible care packages a
good first step
The implementation of the
Government's Flexible Care Packages
for people with severe mental
illnesses has been welcomed by the
Pharmaceutical Society of Australia as
a first step in improving care in this
area of unmet need.
Flexible Care Packages are designed
to help provide clinical and case
coordination services to support
people with severe mental illness in
the community and help them stay
out of hospital.
They will be delivered through
Medicare Locals, that PSA strongly
supports, and which will provide a
more collaborative model of care with
the inclusion of pharmacists.
National President of the PSA,
Warwick Plunkett, said pharmacists
play a major role in the treatment of
patients with mental illnesses.
"As the most accessible health-
care professionals, it is often the
pharmacist who is approached first
by a person suffering mental illness,
Mr Plunkett said.
"Alternatively, it can be the pharmacist
who sees a patient regularly, who can
detect early signs of such an illness
and suggest they seek help from a
"Pharmacists are often referred to
as the 'accidental counsellors' in the
mental illness spectrum and their
role in assisting patients with such
illnesses cannot be under-estimated.
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