Scope the answer for future generations

Date: 13 September 2023

The Pharmacy Guild says the recent Intergenerational Report (IGR) shows that pharmacists working to their full scope of practice is a big part of the solution to meet the growing demand on the health network and save the economy billions of dollars each year.

The report is released every three to five years and forecasts key areas of government over the next 40 years including primary healthcare.

The most relevant section for pharmacists was the report’s prediction on the growing cost of health to the economy,

The report projects spending on health to grow from the current rate of 4.2% of GDP to 6.2% in 40 years’ time.

It also says, “it will be important to ensure that the health system provides value for money. This requires a health system that innovates and prioritises funding a patient-centred and sustainable Australian healthcare system that delivers the best outcomes for communities.”

Intergenerational Report 2023, pp 151

Pharmacy Guild National President Professor Trent Twomey welcomed the report, saying it shows the urgent need to enable pharmacists to work to their full scope of practice, by treating and prescribing medicine for uncomplicated conditions as they do overseas.

“Pharmacists doing more not only benefits patients, it also takes pressure off our health system and benefits the economy not just now but for future generations,” Professor Twomey said.

“Treatment for many of non-urgent presentations to emergency departments are within the scope of practice of pharmacists and can easily be dealt with at a community pharmacy.

“This frees up emergency beds and waiting times to see a GP who can focus on complex and more complicated health conditions.”

A recent EY report found that increasing the role of community pharmacies to treat everyday health conditions could:

  • reduce hospital stays by 352,000 days per annum.
  • free up 52,000 hours of Emergency Department capacity annually and
  • improve GP waiting times by alleviating the need for 6.5 million GP presentations each year.

The report also estimated the annual economic benefit of increasing the role of community pharmacies to treat everyday health conditions to be $5.1 billion across the nation.

Contact: The Guild
Phone: 13GUILD

Page last updated on: 13 September 2023