Home' Australian Pharmacist : Australian Pharmacist August 2013 Contents Australian Pharmacist August 2013 I © Pharmaceutical Society of Australia Ltd.
Our task is making
health care a poll issue
A week in politics is a long time. Just ask
Our deposed 27th Prime Minster is
no longer enjoying the front page of
newspapers nationally. I think she would
be more than likely enjoying her time
away from the press gallery.
In Canberra – and it would seem in most
marginal seats in Western Sydney and
outer Brisbane – it’s all about K-Rudd.
Who is he talking to? When will the
election be? How will he stop the boats?
Our 26th (and 28th) PM has challenged
the Leader of the Opposition, Tony
Abbott, to a series of debates at the
National Press Club. K-Rudd has made
himself available and told everyone that
he is ready. He wants Australians to hear
what he has to say.
Well that’s all nice and stuff, but what’s
that got to do with pharmacy? With our
profession? Are our politicians talking
healthcare and chemo drugs, educational
caps and new roles for pharmacists?
Well, I hear you. No is the answer.
You are probably sick of all the discussion
about the election date – when will it be,
will it be sooner or later, will Parliament
be recalled – certainly my secret source
of political staffers (I have friends from
both sides) have now done to death
the various pros and cons of respective
election dates. We’ve had enough
speculation, just tell us already! It also
makes it trickier for us at PSA to lobby
both sides, backbenchers and the like if
we don’t know our timelines or goals –
what ‘wriggle room’ will there be for us to
position you as pharmacists as key to the
health system and your patients receiving
There has been a dearth of discussion
on healthcare. The key election issues
hitting the 24-hour news cycle include
issues such as both parties’ strategies for
welcoming (or not) refugees – how are we
stopping the boats? What about climate
change? (as opposed to a carbon tax –
aren’t they the same thing?) – and our
educational revolution, Gonski, seems to
be, well, gonski!
So what will happen to the debate we
need to have about healthcare, the
management of chronic disease and the
role of pharmacists in our health system?
We know it is always (and has been for
many, many, many elections in the past)
at the top of Australians’ minds. We’ve
heard nothing. It’s dead. No debate.
Rest assured – this is not something
that PSA takes lightly. It’s our job to
make your voice heard. To have the
tough discussions with our sitting
parliamentarians – and indeed the
candidates in local regions – to put
the no-brainer argument that we need
to maintain the vibrant community
pharmacy network. To tell the people who
need to know. To partner with those other
health professionals such as the AMA (yes,
PSA is talking to them) and the RACGP
(our GP ‘sister’ organisation). There is
strength in our numbers and healthcare
teams working together in partnership –
and its time to make some noise!
So when you start thinking about talking
to your local member of parliament
about the amazing and integral role
you play in the community – essentially
supplying the community with life-saving
medicines a fundamental – don’t forget
to use some of the ideas and strategies
we’ve developed, such as our recently
released Australians stay healthier – PSA’s
Call to action on chronic disease. It’s about
you, as a pharmacist, providing services
to your patients as we see the burden of
So, who will be running the country
in eight weeks’ time? Only time and
well-fought political campaigns will tell.
And it looks like we’re in for a decent
fight. That should sound like good news
One thing is sure: they will know all about
the role you have in the community
as pharmacists, and what’s more,
what other health services you can
provide if supported with appropriate
remuneration. That’s my job – to make
sure parliament knows it. Actually it’s all
of our jobs at PSA.
A new prime minister and an election in the air provide opportunities for
pharmacists to highlight our pivotal role in healthcare.
LIESEL WETT, PSA CEO
‘It’s our job to make your
voice heard. To have
the tough discussions
with our sitting
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