Main Category: Medicare / Medicaid / SCHIP
Also Included In: Pharmacy / Pharmacist
Article Date: 24 Feb 2011 – 4:00 PST
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The release of guidelines for the establishment of Medicare Locals clearly shows pharmacists have an integral role to play in the organisations, the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia says.
National President of the PSA, Warwick Plunkett, said the guidelines specified the criteria that will establish Medicare Locals.
The guidelines have been developed following a consultation process in which PSA participated.
“Among the objectives are that the bodies will improve disease prevention and management and improve access to health services,” Mr Plunkett said.
“This is a role pharmacists have long undertaken as part of their everyday professional work,” Mr Plunkett said.
“Often their expertise in the provision of primary health care has been overlooked but with the establishment of Medicare Locals that contribution can now be integrated more consistently in team-based care.
“In addition, the fact that pharmacists are the most accessible heath care professionals means they can bring to Medicare Locals a more immediate view of health issues in their local areas.
“Consumers walk in and speak to pharmacists about health issues, often before they speak to other health professionals, which enables pharmacists to provide immediate care or refer as necessary to other members of the health-care team.
“This will be an invaluable resource for Medicare Locals, and one which should not be missed.”
Mr Plunkett said the establishment of Medicare Locals was part of the health-reform agenda, a process which PSA supported as it would help to ensure Australians continued to enjoy a world-class health system.
“With the expertise of pharmacists combining with that of other health professionals, Medicare Locals will herald a new era in health care in this country,” Mr Plunkett said.
“PSA looks forward to continuing to work constructively with other stakeholders to progress the establishment of Medicare Locals.”
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