As reported recently, Queensland Treasurer Cameron Dick announced the $9.78 billion funding for hospitals and the healthcare workforce in the country. Generally, these investments will be used to increase the capacity and services of hospitals. It is expected that around 2,500 new beds will be built throughout the country, and 900 of these will be introduced in Queensland.
According to Kristine Michaels, the chief executive of The Society of Hospital Pharmacists of Australia (SHPA), this move can reduce the overcrowding of patients, especially during emergencies. Additionally, this will also reduce the burnout, stress, and exhaustion of Hospital Pharmacists and other hospital workers.
Moreover, as the Government plans an increase in the bed capacity of hospitals, an increase in the workforce is also required. Even though there are many spaces for patient admission, without enough hospital pharmacists, events will only lead to an increased risk of medication-related problems.
The Queensland Government aims to recruit around 9,475 healthcare workers and the SHPA believes that more than 150 hospital pharmacists will be needed. The Queensland Health Pharmacy Workforce plan is not yet finalised and will be published as soon as possible to prepare the interested applicants.
Hospital Pharmacy Interns for Queenslanders
Hospital pharmacy interns also provide effective medication management to Queenslanders. This is the reason why the Government has included junior hospital pharmacists in this plan. In the recruitment, the Queensland Pharmacy Departments will consider the SHPA’s Foundation Residences. As of today, around 80 residents have completed the junior hospital pharmacist program and 130 are still currently enrolled.
Although this plan is commendable as it can sustain the Queensland Health’s Hospital Pharmacist workforce, Chief Executive Michaels states that these intern positions should also be supported. One of the ways to ensure the sustainability and viability of the workforce is by doubling the intern positions.
Funding for Elective Surgeries in Australia Requires More Hospital Pharmacists
The Australian Capital Territory (ACT) allotted a budget of $390 million to improve the hospital’s primary care and systems capacity. This budget has been handed down by Chief Minister and Treasurer Andrew Barr. In addition to this, $29.8 million were allotted for elective surgeries, especially during this time of the pandemic.
For these surgeries, SHPA Chief Executive Kristin Michaels believes that hospital pharmacists are essential in delivering these services under the Standard of practice in surgery and perioperative medicine for pharmacy services to avoid hospital readmission. However, hospital pharmacist roles are not easy. If there would be a workforce shortage, pharmacists can experience burnout and dissatisfaction, making them leave the profession. With the upcoming Queensland Health Pharmacy Workforce plan, there is hope that many pharmacists will be encouraged to join the call of serving in the hospital area.
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