NSW pharmacist vaccination program expanded for 2019
AMANSW President Dr Kean-Seng Lim called the expansion of the NSW pharmacist vaccination program “shortsighted” and warned it will lead to further fragmentation of healthcare.
“A needle is more than a needle ... it should be part of a comprehensive check up,” Dr Lim said. GPs use the vaccinations as an opportunity to discuss other health problems or health risks.
The NSW government announced from 2019, pharmacists will be able to administer privately funded vaccinations for diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis (dTpa), and the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR). In addition to influenza vaccine after completing an approved comprehensive training course. The State’s pharmacist vaccination program already included influenza vaccinations.
The age of eligibility for patients will also be lowered from 18 to 16.
This change comes shortly after the recommendations of a Queensland Pharmacy Inquiry which recommended expanding the role of pharmacists to include prescribing medication. There has been concern raised about the influence undisclosed pharmacy lobby links of the committee members had on the recommendations of the report which overlooked numerous submissions advising against expanding pharmacists’ scope of practice.