A successful Community Pharmacy Leaders Forum (CPLF) meeting in March came after positive engagement between pharmacy sector leaders and the Minister of Health.
CPLF chair and Pharmacy Guild President Cameron Monteith passed on the forums appreciation for efforts by both the Pharmacy Guild and the Pharmaceutical Society in separate meetings with Hon Andrew Little, to brief him on sector financial viability and professional workforce sustainability challenges and the significant opportunity for an expanded scope of practice, to increase awareness and advocate for sector improvements.
CPLF’s meeting also heard from and welcomed a briefing from key officials from the Health and Disability System Review Transition Unit, based in the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet. This covered next steps towards the government’s key structural decisions and implementation plan to deliver major health and disability system reforms.
“The government’s officials were left in no doubt of CPLF’s wish to be actively involved in the process to ensure community pharmacies’ voice is heard,” Mr Monteith says.
The Covid-19 vaccination and immunisation programme were also discussed, and Mr Monteith says while the forum sees community pharmacy as an integral part of the vaccinator workforce, there are logistical issues still to be worked through for the community pharmacy setting. We are keen to continue the conversation about how community pharmacies will participate in this vitally important rollout.
Also, while welcoming the PHARMAC review terms of reference, CPLF noted wider terms of reference would have been ideally preferable.
“It is difficult to see how PHARMAC’s contribution will be improved given the out-of-scope elements of the review,” Mr Monteith says. “We would like to see how PHARMAC could be more connected and have less reliance on sole supply. We also look forward to engaging on the purchasing model, out-of-stock medicine issues, patient impacts, and improving access and equity.”
The forum also noted that DHBs were currently progressing the independent service and funding model and wage cost pressure reviews, which remain an integral part of work toward supporting sector financial viability and professional workforce sustainability.