Health profession must work together and put patients first

Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA)

The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA) welcomes the Queensland Government’s announcement that the Urinary Tract Infection Pharmacy Pilot – Queensland (UTIPP-Q) will be extended.

PSA National President Dr Fei Sim says that pharmacists have proven their expertise and professionalism during the Queensland pilot.

“PSA is proud to continue working with the Queensland Government to extend the pilot. This pilot allowed thousands of Queensland women to get timely access to treatments for uncomplicated UTIs from their local pharmacist.

“The Queensland University of Technology’s final report on the pilot found that pharmacists have the appropriate skills, competencies, and training to manage the empiric treatment of uncomplicated UTIs in the community pharmacy,” she said.

“PSA has worked with Queensland Health to ensure appropriate clinical governance measures in the trial to support safe and effective patient care. The outcomes described in the evaluation report show these worked and serve as a model for broader rollout in the future.

PSA strongly rejects comments made today by the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP).

“Pharmacists are registered health professionals with the same ethical and moral obligations as doctors,” Dr Sim said.

“Community pharmacies are not ‘unsupervised retail settings’ – they are primary healthcare destinations, as well as the most accessible healthcare setting in Australia.

“Pharmacists undergo a minimum of five-years’ training, as well as additional education and training for this very trial, so that they can provide the best possible care to their patients.

“Measures like pharmacist vaccination and the UTI pilot help free up precious doctor’s time for complex chronic disease management and more complex presentations.

“We have a health system that is approaching breaking point. The health profession needs to work together to support patients as their health needs become more complex. This includes reducing duplication and empowering patients with self-care.

“Working together means putting aside turf wars and finding better ways to support patients. PSA will not apologise for our commitment to timely access to care. We remain committed to working collaboratively with the entire health sector to deliver best outcomes for patients.”

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