Government must dispense with pharmacy guild plan to plunder primary care
AMA President, A/Prof Brian Owler, said this week that the Government must immediately rule out doing a deal with the Pharmacy Guild to fund pharmacies to provide medical health checks. The Australian Financial Review yesterday reported that the Guild is planning a multimillion–dollar advertising campaign to back up its lobbying efforts for pharmacists to take over the role of doctors in primary care.
“The Guild is using primary health care as a bargaining chip in its efforts to secure the best possible deal for pharmacy owners – not patients – under the new Community Pharmacy Agreement. The Guild has previously set a price of $50 for these services. This is a dangerous and irresponsible model of primary care. It fragments patient care, and undermines the important doctor-patient relationship.
“The Government would be foolish to consider handing over precious health funding to the Guild for an untested and unnecessary primary care experiment when huge cuts are being made to the mainstream health system, especially in general practice and public hospitals,” A/Prof Owler said.