Pharmacists push for funding for more services

PHARMACISTS want more state funding to allow them to expand their services to wound care and STD screening, to take pressure off public hospitals.

The scope of pharmacists was discussed at length during a parliamentary inquiry held in Cairns yesterday morning, examining the rules governing who can own pharmacies, and the health services the health care professionals can provide.

In a submission to the inquiry, Thursday Island Pharmacy managing partner Caitlin Davies wrote that the scope of services pharmacists could provide, needed to be reviewed.

"I need to be able to provide more services to my community, as I really am the most accessible health professional in Thursday Island and the Torres Straits region," she said.

She said they would like more funding for lung health screening, diabetes screening, STD screening, wound care services, payments to pharmacists for providing vaccinations, wound care services, sleep apnoea subsidies, continence AIDS services, and funding for weight management programs.

Cairns pharmacy owner Trent Twomey, who is also the Queensland branch president of the Pharmacy Guild of Australia, said reforming the industry would provide more safeguards for the industry and its clients.



Cairns pharmacy owner Trent Twomey. PICTURE: STEWART McLEAN
Cairns pharmacy owner Trent Twomey. PICTURE: STEWART McLEAN


He told the inquiry five pharmacies were either sanctioned or cautioned by the Victorian Pharmacy Authority earlier this year, while there had been minimal breaches reported in Queensland since 2010.

Queensland is the only state where regulation of pharmacies is not administered by a governing body that sits outside a relevant department of health.

"I'm exceptionally proud of the 1145 pharmacies I represent in this state, but I'd hazard a guess there's been at least one in the first quarter of this year that could have done something better," Mr Twomey said.

The health committee must report to Queensland Parliament by September 30.