Home' Australian Pharmacist : April 2011 Contents Vol. 30 -- April #04
A vision for pharmacists'
practice in Australia:
What can we see so far?
By Paul Mackey
The June 2010 issue of Australian
Pharmacist carried a cover story on
stage one of the Future of Pharmacy
Project. This article provides an update
on progress of the Project to date and
canvasses anticipated next steps.
A vision for pharmacists'
As a central element of the Future of
Pharmacy Project a group of nominees
of Australia's peak pharmacist
organisations are jointly developing a
draft Vision for Pharmacists' Practice.
The draft Vision has been developed
following the release of papers for
discussion by the profession, including
PSA's Issues paper on the Future of
Pharmacy and the Pharmacy Guild
of Australia's The Roadmap, as well
as several constructive workshops.
A Consultation Paper on a Vision for
Pharmacists' Practice will shortly be
released to the pharmacy profession
for consideration and feedback.
Why is a vision needed?
In common with other countries,
Australia's ageing population,
advances in technology and
consumers' expectations are placing
considerable pressure on Australia's
health system. Responding to these
challenges, the Commonwealth,
State and Territory Governments have
recently reached broad agreement
on an ambitious program of health
reform.1 The Agreement recognises
that 'a strong primary care system
is the key to providing patients with
Paul Mackey is the Pharmaceutical Society of
Australia's Executive Director of Policy based
the health care they need when
and where they need it ... better
integrated primary health care will
help manage emerging challenges for
the health system, including an ageing
population and the increasing burden
of chronic disease.
These changes in Australia's health
system will clearly impact on
pharmacists. The challenge for the
profession is in how best to respond
and adapt to the changes ahead.
A whole-of-profession approach,
articulated through an agreed Vision
for Pharmacists' Practice in Australia,
can inform and guide the profession
in looking towards the future. A Vision
can also serve the additional purpose
of providing tangible evidence to
stakeholders beyond the profession
that pharmacists are looking outwards
and forwards. In other words,
demonstrating that we are seeking
to drive and influence change, not
content to be mere spectators as
events unfold and using the Vision
to place pharmacists firmly in the
vanguard of change.
An Issues paper titled The Future
of Pharmacy in Australia was
released by PSA in May 2010 with
an announcement that this was
the first step in the proposed
development of a White Paper
on the future of the profession.
This was followed by a successful
workshop of nominees from 11 peak
pharmacy organisations3 which was
held on 23 July 2010 to discuss
and seek support for the proposal
and to identify a way forward. A
subsequent teleconference of these
nominees was held in September
2010 which considered the nature
of a Vision for pharmacists' practice
in Australia drawing on relevant
overseas experience in Canada, the
United Kingdom, New Zealand and
the United States. A small group was
subsequently established to draft a
Vision statement for Pharmacists'
Practice for consideration by the
peak organisations prior to extensive
consultation with the profession.
Members of the Vision Statement
Drafting Group are: John Jackson
(Pharmaceutical Society of Australia,
Chair), Yvonne Allinson (Society of
Hospital Pharmacists of Australia),
Andrew Gilbert (Australian Pharmacy
Council), Jeff Hughes (Council of
Pharmacy Schools -- Australia and New
Zealand), Bill Kelly (Pharmacy Board
of Australia), John Low (Australian
Pharmacy Council), Michael Nunan
(young pharmacists), Debbie Rigby
(Australian Association of Consultant
Pharmacy), and Anthony Tassone
(Pharmacy Guild of Australia). All
members of this group have given
very freely of their time and the
project would not have progressed
without their effort and commitment.
As is the case for the Future of
Pharmacy Project, PSA has provided
the secretariat and support for the
Vision Statement Drafting Group.
However, while PSA has initiated and
supported this Project, it is a whole-
of-profession exercise and requires
the support of all to be successful.
Principles adopted by
Following consideration of vision
statements developed by the
profession in Canada, New Zealand
and the United States together with
the White Paper from the United
Kingdom, the Vision Statement
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