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WA moves closer to pharmacist vaccinations

WA moves closer to pharmacist vaccinations
Photo: WA moves closer to pharmacist vaccinations
Pharmacists in Western Australia are another step closer to providing vaccinations after their immunisation training was given the green light.

The state’s Department of Health has approved the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia’s (PSA) immunisation training, based on the training used by more than 150,000 pharmacists overseas and also in the successful Queensland Pharmacy Immunisation Pilot (QPIP).

WA pharmacists can now register for the training, which includes online pre-reading and face-to-face workshops.

The move comes after PSA president Grant Kardachi revealed he expected pharmacists in every state and territory will be providing the influenza vaccine within months.
“Most states are now in the process of activating the appropriate legislation - some have done it and some have still got to do it,” he said.

“I think certainly most were waiting on the results of the Queensland trial and with that being so positive, I think now they are ready to proceed.

“I would expect all our jurisdictions to be ready to go for this coming winter.”

Pharmacists in South Australia, Western Australia and the Northern Territory are now allowed to administer flu vaccinations.

A parliamentary inquiry in Victoria has also recommended the state establish a pharmacy immunisation trial, after last year’s QPIP achieved 11,000 immunisations.

Until the Queensland trial, community pharmacies have used nurse immunisers in a bid to introduce their own vaccination programs.

In other developments, the PSA is calling on the Federal Government to introduce a Pharmacist Incentive Payment (PHiP) in a bid to integrate pharmacists within general practices, to deliver medication management services within a collaborative framework.

In its pre-budget submission, it also recommends the government support Aboriginal Health Services to incorporate pharmacists within their teams “to deliver essential medication adherence and education services in a culturally appropriate environment”.

“Such models are correlated with improvements in equity, access and lower costs, as well as improvements in population health,” the submission states.

“Furthermore, as Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) spending per person is projected to increase by 22 per cent by 2020, having a pharmacist contribute to more cost‐effective prescribing provides a mechanism for ensuring the future sustainability of the PBS for all Australians.”

Mr Kardachi said it’s imperative that the skills and knowledge of pharmacists are better utilised and integrated into the health system.

“Pharmacists are highly trained in medicines yet their skills, knowledge and expertise are often under-recognised and under-utilised,” he said.

“Our submission provides practical and effective solutions to some of the major issues facing the health system in Australia today.

“Our solutions reflect the need to include pharmacists in team-based models of primary care which are growing in response to expanding health system demands created by increasingly complex patients.”

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Karen Keast

Karen Keast is a freelance health journalist who writes news and feature articles for HealthTimes.

Karen regularly writes for some of Australia’s leading health news websites and magazines.  In a media career spanning 20 years, Karen has worked as a senior journalist in newspapers and television. She has covered the grind of daily news and worked as a politics reporter at countless state and federal elections.

Since venturing into freelance writing five years ago, Karen has found her niche in writing about the health sector for editors, businesses and corporations.

Karen has interviewed the heads of peak health organisations in Australia and overseas, and written hundreds of news and feature articles covering the dedicated work of health professionals who tread the corridors of hospitals and health services, universities, aged care facilities and practices, day in and day out.

Follow Karen Keast on Twitter @stylemywords