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Australian Pharmacist November 2013 I ©Pharmaceutical Society of Australia Ltd.
An opportunity for positive
By Andrew Daniels
Pharmacy is in a unique position,
to present positive solutions to the
Government that help it save money
by fully utilising pharmacists’ skills
This was PSA National President,
Grant Kardachi’s core message to
those attending the 2013 Pharmacy
Solutions he mentioned included
submissions to government on
pharmacists’ roles in mental health,
adherence and diabetes management.
Speaking at the Congress opening he
said that the election of a Coalition
Government in September meant the
next 12 months would be interesting.
‘A change in Government is always
challenging – but those challenges
will surely be balanced by some great
opportunities for the profession’’, he said.
‘It is no secret that the Abbott
Government is seeking to bring the
Federal Budget back into some sort of
shape and this will undoubtedly mean
pain for many sectors, and perhaps some
pain for all sectors.
‘ While the previous Government
recognised their value and importance,
budgetary issues prevented them getting
over the line. I am confident the more
pragmatic approach already displayed by
this [Abbott] Government – and it is early
days yet – will open opportunities for our
profession,’ Mr Kardachi said.
In a wide ranging assessment of the past
12 month in pharmacy, Mr Kardachi said
that there were lessons from the past year
that could be taken forward.
‘ The past 12 months have been
difficult for the profession as a whole.
Uncertainties in the market have raised
concerns about business viabilities,
issues with the Fifth Community
Pharmacy Agreement have caused
pharmacists some very serious concerns
and of course price disclosure issues
have hit the bottom line of community
pharmacies and threaten to have an even
greater impact in the future.
‘Yet despite these we are here today,
we are still in business and we are facing
the challenges in a more cohesive
and strategic way than ever before.
The reason for this, I believe, is that we are
finally moving towards One Profession.
Of course we still have our differences but
despite these we remain close,’ he said.
Mr Kardachi emphasised the need for
collaboration, which had been a constant
theme since he took on the Society’s
presidency three years ago. He pointed
to closer ties with the Royal Australian
College of General Practitioners and
policy initiatives in mental health
‘ We have been working with the
Pharmacy Guild recently and we have
been doing this while some members
from both organisations have harped on
about us allegedly constantly fighting
‘It would have been easy to be distracted
by from the bigger picture and devote
our efforts to addressing the mutterings
of those with their own agendas but we
did not. To bow to the few at the expense
of the many was not something I or the
PSA would allow to happen.
‘Of course there have been times when
the Guild and PSA have not always agreed
and this is understandable. At first we
did not agree over the HMR problem but
when we sat down and talked about it
we came to a common understanding of
what needed to be done. That’s the sign
of maturity in our two organisations.
‘ Therefore I think any look at the history
of the past 12 months will show that
pharmacy is now better placed in regard
to unity. And with that coming of age
has come strength, unity and a common
purpose to ensure our profession thrives
while also improving the health of our
communities,’ he said.
Mr Kardachi said that the challenges
of the past 12 months had been huge
and he believed that ‘had we not been
building the foundations towards
One Profession, pharmacy would be
facing even more dire prospects in the
future that it already is.’
Congress hits the spot
Delegates a the 2013 Pharmacy Australia
Congress in Brisbane last month were
challenged and inspired by a diverse and
interesting program of speakers.
The 800 delegates gathered at the
Convention Centre in the balmy Brisbane
spring weather to network and celebrate
the achievements of PSA award winners
and add to their skills and knowledge.
They were inspired by speeches from
this year’s award winners, Alan Russell
oration presenter, Professor Ian Frazer,
comedian and Crohn’s disease patient
Luke Escombe and many more. They were
challenged by professor Zubin Austin’s
research into the pharmacists’ personality
traits. It was a remarkable weekend of
education and insights.
At the end of the Congress, keynote
speaker, Professor Zubin Austin from
the University of Toronto told Australian
Pharmacist that, ‘not only was it a great
time, it was an interesting time. It was an
opportunity to exchange ideas and see
where Canada, the UK, Australia and other
countries around the world are at in the
evolution of pharmacy.’
The Congress attracted pharmacists
not just from around Australia, but
from Nepal, Japan, New Zealand and
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