The peak organisation for GPs in Australia, the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) says New South Wales will be left behind when it comes to patient health and safety if it fails to introduce real time prescription monitoring, a program which is helping save lives in Tasmania and Victoria.
Chair of RACGP NSW Prof Charlotte Hespe has urged parliamentarians to review the successful programs in other states and commit to providing a safer environment for patients.
“We have seen the value of real time prescription monitoring in Tasmania and Victoria, it’s time for doctors, pharmacists and patients to have the opportunity to use a similar system in New South Wales,” Dr Hespe said.
“GPs are on the front line of this crisis and we desperately need a real time tool to help us identify and support patients experiencing addiction to prescription drugs.
“With a state election to be held later this month, patients need to be calling on candidates to keep our communities safer with better monitoring of high risk prescriptions.
Real-time prescription monitoring has been sought in Australia since 1980, when a Royal Commission into drugs recommended its implementation and has since been supported by multiple coronial inquiries.
“As a GP, knowing if someone is genuinely in need of a prescription or requires assistance for an addiction means I can provide the right care to the right patient,” Dr Hespe said.
“Put simply, we need to see the government take action before more lives are lost.
“If a patient in Tasmania is suffering from an addiction, they are flagged as needing assistance where in New South Wales some of our most vulnerable patients risk slipping through the cracks.”
More information about a real time prescription monitoring is available at – https://www.scriptwise.org.au/real-time-monitoring/