ACT Budget neglects frontline pharmacists

Pharmaceutical Society of Australia

The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA) has said that the ACT Government’s 2022-23 Budget offers little support for Canberra’s pharmacists and ignores pleas for more support to deliver vaccinations.

PSA ACT Branch President Olivia Collenette MPS says that this Budget has abandoned the pharmacists who kept the community safe during COVID-19 and missed a key opportunity to invest in community health.

“The ACT Budget has yet again ignored the opportunity to invest in our health system and improve the accessibility of health care to Canberrans,” she said.

“Throughout the pandemic, pharmacists remained the most accessible health care professional in our communities, remaining open while others closed their doors and have shown their dedication to the wellbeing of Canberrans.

“PSA’s 2022-23 Budget Submission urged the ACT Government to improve patient access by increasing the range of vaccinations provided by pharmacists. This simple regulatory change that could save the lives of Canberrans has been overlooked despite the clear benefits to the community.

“The ACT has the most stringent restrictions in the country when it comes to which vaccinations pharmacists can administer, despite pharmacists having been on the frontline of the COVID-19 vaccination rollout throughout the pandemic.

“Pharmacists just over the border in New South Wales are able to provide meningococcal and human papillomavirus vaccinations, but not here in the ACT. Canberrans deserve improved accessibility to these vaccinations through their local pharmacy, and our pharmacists deserve the government’s confidence.

“Investment in pharmacists will improve the care Canberrans receive from the wider health system and has the potential to reduce the increasing number of Canberrans presenting to emergency departments with minor ailments as well as assisting with current workloads and wait times being experienced by GP clinics.

“We urge the ACT Government to reconsider its needless restrictions and give Canberra’s pharmacists the tools to provide world class care to our communities.”

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