Trent Twomey, National President of the Guild, warns pharmacies around Australia that they have till Midnight on Thursday, 29th July to join the Vaccination campaign. “This is the absolute cut-off, you will not be given an extension,” he said during a Guild webinar on Wednesday, 28th July.
“I strongly encourage all of you to register and become approved… some of you may be hesitant to participate and I understand that; you can still choose not to order vaccines but you can’t opt-in at a later date,” Twomey urged during a webinar organized by the Guild.
He also revealed the Guild’s plan to launch a public relations campaign targeted at adults over 18. “The goal is for all Australians to be fully vaccinated by a community pharmacy. The outcome of this campaign will be to push and pull people to community pharmacies to get vaccinated, and it will have a lasting legacy,” he said.
Twomey also addressed the Federal Government’s stance on Medicare requirements, stating that “new Australians” don't have to present a Medicare card to be vaccinated. However, “it’s still a requirement for Australians with a Medicare card … because it’s an important part of ensuring that record and occasion of service is uploaded to the Australian immunisation Register.”
Health Professionals Should Be Working to the Full Extent of their Scope - Emma McBride
At a webinar on Tuesday, 27th July, Emma McBride, the Federal Shadow Assistant Minister for Mental Health said current remuneration systems limit pharmacists’ ability to deliver maximum value.
According to her, “we have a cohort of highly trained expert health practitioners and I think that in the past they’ve been limited because of the way that pharmacy has been set up… the systems they’ve been working in have put a ceiling on what they can contribute.”
She also stated that pharmacists are experts, they are trained, experienced, capable and they have so much to contribute. “The benefits to individuals and communities, but also our economy are significant.
“If we are to genuinely see a transformation in health outcomes in Australia then we need to see every person working within health working to the top of their scope, so we can see a real lift and improvement in health outcomes across Australia.”
She also added that “It’s really welcome to see so many pharmacies now doing mental health first aid and other mental health training… someone can walk into the pharmacy, doesn’t needto make an appointment, and [the pharmacist] is there supporting them.
Primary Health Networks need to support Community Pharmacies - Trent Twomey
As community pharmacies begin administering vaccines to adults, Trent Twomey has aired his displeasure at the lack of PPE provision.
While speaking on The World Today, he stated, “The taxpayers paid for a whole heap of PPE for essential workers in exactly this situation, yet it isn’t being made available.”
“I’m frustrated that my members are put at risk, and my members’ patients are put at risk. So what I’d ask is that those Primary Health Networks do exactly what their name suggests and they get off the couch, they get out of their houses and their office building and they go out and build relationships with local community pharmacists,” Twomey added.
“How are we supposed to do our job and stay open and protect our patients… if they are not doing the job that they are paid to do?”
Pharmacy Workforce Shortage Continues
Recruiters are struggling to fill positions in stores across regional, rural, and metropolitan areas as the pharmacy workforce continues to endure a severe shortage. Speaking on the issue, Heidi Dariz, Raven’s Recruitment General Manager Australia and New Zealand, said that there have always been shortages but never this bad.
“I started at Raven’s in 2002 and we had shortages then. But this is worse than what I saw then, I’ve never seen it this bad,” she said. “It’s frightening what I’m seeing. Obviously, in the ruralareas, we’ve always had it tough, but now it’s virtually impossible. And we’re seeing it in the cities as well.”
According to Dariz, the shortages have worsened due to the pandemic. “We’ve got the shortages, we’ve got people leaving the industry, and then Covid on top of that.”
Pharmacists Need to Improve Patients’ Health Literacy
Gregory Duncan, Monash University Senior Research Fellow believes that pharmacists can use their communication skills to boost patient’s health literacy.
Speaking at a webinar on the topic of health literacy, he addressed studies that show that pharmacists feel awkward asking patients certain questions.
“It's really around how we frame it, we need to make sure we sit any responsibility for any errors that come through on us, so we frame our question around that.
“Instead of ‘tell me how you are going to take this medication at home,’ it would be something like, ‘just to make sure I haven't’ missed any important points, can you explain back to me how you’re going to use this medicine?’”
At Raven's Recruitment, we’ve been specialising in Pharmacist recruitment for a long time, so we have expert knowledge in the space. If you’re looking for an exciting opportunity to work as a locum pharmacist or want a permanent job, then look no further - get in touch with our Recruitment Consultants now.