Home' Australian Pharmacist : Australian Pharmacist July 2013 Contents 16 Australian Pharmacist July 2013 I ©Pharmaceutical Society of Australia Ltd.
An age of bewilderment
By Andrew Daniels
Pharmacy appears to be in an age of
bewilderment with all the structural
changes besetting the professional and
commercial sides of pharmacy according
to NSW Branch President, John Bronger.
Speaking at the opening of the PSA
CPExpo in Sydney last month he said
many pharmacists were worried about
their personal future and that of their
'They fear that their professional
capabilities, developed over years of
study and clinical experience, are no
longer valued, and this is reinforced
by the flat pay rates. They fear that the
pharmacies they work in are so financially
challenged that they are unable to meet
their pay expectations and in danger
of joining the increasing number of
Mr Bronger said he shared these concerns
and feared for the health of Australia's
internationally renowned national
network of community pharmacies.
'I think that in the government's zeal
to cut costs and, in part, pharmacy's
defensive responses, we've somewhat
lost sight of the strategic importance of
'It in the interests of every Australian that
their network of community pharmacies
remains healthy -- more so than just
viable -- but it's also in the interests of
those controlling government budgets.
We know that, backed by a trusted,
quality-assured network of community
pharmacies, we pharmacists can provide
many of the answers governments
seek to improve healthcare access in a
He said that the recent Federal
Government Budget acknowledged
that PBS cost-saving measures would
deliver billions of dollars more than
expected. However, he didn't believe
the community pharmacy network
could stand-up to the massive resources
being drawn from it and had asked the
Pharmacy Guild to renegotiate some of it
back from government.
'Call it a dividend on efficiency or
productivity, call it reinvesting in crucial
health and social infrastructure, call it
whatever you want -- just get it done for
the sake of healthcare in this country,'
Mr Bronger went on to say that many
pharmacists were bewildered at the
apparent lack of cooperation, and even
enmity between the professional bodies
with this apparent lack of cooperation
and mutual support adding to the
bewilderment afflicting pharmacy.
The recent debacle over HMRs was a
perfect case in point.
'Had the PSA been viewed as
collaborators when the HMR rules were
developed, I suspect much of the pain
and frustration experienced by so many
pharmacists would not have happened.'
He said that under the watch of new
Guild executive director David Quilty
the Guild seemed to have had a change
of heart about the value they placed on
'I congratulate him for this emerging
attitude of new collaboration with the
PSA. I know that he and PSA CEO Liesel
Wett have begun working through
points of collaboration and I hope their
efforts will be actively supported by the
members of both groups.
'Your professional bodies need your
active and interested engagement, not
only to keep your representatives like
me at their word, but also to help us
fine-tune our priorities. We need your
own pressures of expectation because
we're only as good as the representation
you seek,' Mr Bronger said.
Interim Guild president
Victorian community pharmacist George
Tambassis has been appointed as Interim
Council Nominee for Pharmacy Guild (PGA)
National President which becomes vacant
He was appointed at the June meeting of
the Pharmacy Guild National Council after
the current National President, Kos Sclavos,
announced in April that he will step down
Mr Tambassis has
been the President of
the Guild's Victorian
Branch since 2011.
He is a working
25 years' experience,
who owns pharmacies
in rural and suburban Victoria.
According to a PGA statement the
appointment of an Interim Council
Nominee was to provide a smooth
transition. It is intended that the nominee
will spend considerable time between now
and October visiting the Branches, meeting
pharmacy, political and other stakeholders
around Australia, and building a strong
relationship with the National Secretariat.
Mr Tambassis said he was humbled by the
responsibility that National Council has
'I am looking forward to receiving Members'
input, and to hearing any concerns they
have, wherever they may be'.
Mr Sclavos congratulated Mr Tamabassis on
'As National President I have seen George's
collaborative approach at first hand.
He has a passion for the ongoing viability
of community pharmacy and the role
PSA National President, Grant Kardachi,
also congratulated Mr Tambassis on
'I have met George on several occasions and
we have had very good discussions about
pharmacy and the future of the profession.
George has a great passion for community
pharmacy as well as a pragmatic and
realistic approach as to what we as a
profession need to do to work towards
securing a sustainable and viable future.
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