Pharmacy’s international award a step forward for health consumers
An international award for an Australian pharmacy initiative providing tailored consumer health care is welcome recognition of moves towards patient-centred health services, the Consumers Health Forum says.
“We congratulate the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia on this honour awarded for their Health Destination program by the International Pharmaceutical Federation,” the CEO of the Consumers Health Forum, Leanne Wells, said.
“This is recognition of the PSA’s steps to promote practice improvement by emphasising the pharmacy as a health destination for consumers which also encourages closer collaboration with other health practitioners, particularly GPs.
“A CHF survey in the past year has shown that people see pharmacy as an accessible health service and a strong majority of those surveyed would like to see their pharmacy play a larger role in primary care in the community.
“Consumers would like to see pharmacists not only provide advice on medication but also care for minor ailments and vaccinations.
“At the same time, consumers also told us that they want to see better communication and coordination between their pharmacist and GP: they don’t want their care further fragmented. Arrangements advocated by the Health Destination initiative which promote co-operation between providers, continuity, and which step people up into comprehensive, integrated services such as patient-centred health care homes are especially welcome, particularly for people with complex conditions.
“The PSA’s Health Destination program which has been taken up by more than 25 pharmacies provides a new direction for community pharmacy to work collaboratively with other health care providers.
“Pharmacy must be a significant part of Health Care Homes now being trialed by the federal Government to provide better coordinated team-based care for those with chronic and complex conditions.
“The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners has supported moves toward team-based patient-centred care as recommended by a recent expert roundtable also involving CHF, the George Institute for Global Health and the Menzies Centre for Health Policy.
“The PSA award supports this development and CHF will be urging the review into pharmacy remuneration and regulation to recommend the further development of the pharmacy role in primary health care,” Ms Wells said.