North Queensland doctors condemn pharmacy trial

More than 100 doctors from north Queensland have supported a motion condemning a pharmacy prescribing trial as dangerous and called on the Queensland Government to abandon it in favour of working on sustainable, safe solutions for patients.   

AMA President, Dr Omar Khorshid told the emergency town hall attendees the proposed trial would put patients' lives at risk and would undermine the critical role of General Practice. 

“The trial, which would allow pharmacists to diagnose and prescribe drugs for 23 conditions including type 2 diabetes and heart conditions, will put patients at risk and undermines the critical role of general practice in our health system,” Dr Khorshid said. 

“The North Queensland Pharmacy Prescribing Program is due to commence any day now despite strong protests from our profession and known reservations of many in the pharmacy industry. 

“This dangerous experiment removes the critical separation between prescribing and dispensing, putting pharmacy profits before patients. It puts patients and pharmacists themselves at risk by asking pharmacists to do a doctor’s job, but without any medical training. 

“Doctors respect the considerable skills pharmacists bring to the care of patients. They are experts in medications and medication management and there is no doubt that they can contribute more to the delivery of health care in this country. Healthcare workers function best when they are part of a collaborative team and in our primary care sector that’s a team coordinated by a GP and informed by medical diagnosis,” Dr Khorshid said. 

Attendees supported a motion that: 

  • condemns the proposed North Queensland Pharmacy Pilot as a dangerous experiment that will deliver lower quality care for patients; and   

  • calls on the Queensland Government to abandon the Pilot and to instead work collaboratively with GP groups, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health services and other health professions to deliver collaborative and sustainable solutions that will genuinely improve access to high quality care for patients. 

You can read our full media release here

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