Guild voice in rural health

Date: 16 December 2020

The Pharmacy Guild of Australia has been appointed a permanent member of the Federal Government’s Rural Health Stakeholder Roundtable.

Announcing the decision the Minister for Regional Health, Mark Coulton, said he especially valued the Guild’s involvement in the COVID-19 roundtable and “am pleased to advise that commencing in 2021, the Guild will be a permanent member of the roundtable”.

National President of the Guild George Tambassis welcomed the decision as a recognition of the commitment of the Guild and its members to regional, rural and remote Australia.

“The Guild believes the standard of healthcare for regional, rural and remote areas of Australia should be equal to the standards available in metropolitan areas,” Mr Tambassis said.

“We are guided by the principle that all Australians have a right to equity and access to community pharmacy services.

“The permanent inclusion of the Guild on the Rural Health Stakeholder Roundtable will help us to advance these aims and work with other healthcare professionals and the Government to improve the health outcomes for communities in these areas.

“Regional, rural and remote pharmacies have played a pivotal role in helping communities through the COVID-19 crisis this year by remaining open, providing masks and personal protection equipment and going out of their way to ensure patients continue to receive their medicines and services.

“This has been done against the backdrop of their own personal and business difficulties faced as a result of the pandemic.

“The experiences learned will be brought to the Rural Health Stakeholder Roundtable to ensure these communities are better able to cope with emergencies in the future.”

Mr Tambassis said that last year the Guild identified some strategic areas in regional, rural and remote areas that needed addressing, while providing possible solutions. These included:

  • Greater access to medicines and professional pharmacist services
  • Telehealth
  • HECS debt waived for students from rural Australia
  • Commonwealth Supported Places (CSP)
  • Attracting Students and Interns to rural Australia
  • Migration support
  • Cultural education and mentoring
  • Enhanced Medicines Enablement Program

“We will continue to advocate for solutions to these issues as permanent members of the roundtable,” Mr Tambassis said.

The roundtable was established in 2015 to promote strategic discussion and to bring together key stakeholders to develop rural health policy.

It consists of peak bodies representing the rural health workforce and the National Rural Health Commissioner.

Contact: The Guild
Phone: 13GUILD

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Page last updated on: 16 December 2020