AMA Slams Bupa pharmacy partnership

7 Mar 2019

AMA President Dr Tony Bartone labelled a new partnership between Bupa and Terry White Chemmart “outrageous” and warned that it would undermine quality general practice and fragment care.

“General practice is the foundation of quality primary health care in Australia, and any threats to undermine it or replace it with inferior models of care must be rejected,” Dr Bartone said.

The new partnership claims to offer Bupa customers ‘a range of health services and benefits’ and ‘a health app aimed at providing significant value and personalised care’.

“Health checks, screening activities, and diagnostic tests should only be conducted if they are clinically indicated, backed by evidence, and cost effective. Unnecessary ‘health checks’ are costly for patients and can cause needless concern.

“There is no doubt that hiving off certain aspects of health care, such as screening and pathology ordering, only duplicates effort and fragments care.

“This Bupa partnership is an insult to GPs and a dud deal for Bupa customers.”

The AMA will be seeking answers from Bupa about the partnership, what health services they will be offering, and why the AMA and the medical profession have not been consulted on this potentially dangerous initiative.

The AMA supports the role of pharmacists in their communities and in collaborative arrangements with GPs, such as including non-dispensing pharmacists in a GP team.

More information on the partnership is available here.