An honour to serve – Message from the incoming Executive Director

13 December 2023

By Gerard Benedet, Executive Director

It is an honour to step into the role of Executive Director at the Guild following four immensely rewarding years as Branch Director at the Guild’s Queensland branch.

I’d like to thank my predecessor, Suzanne Greenwood for the four years she served, especially during a tumultuous time including a once in a lifetime pandemic.

It’s a pivotal time for the Guild and for Community Pharmacy and the weight of that responsibility is not lost on me.

During my time as Queensland Branch Director, I had the privilege of leading Queensland members through the COVID vaccination rollout. Pharmacy played a crucial role in getting Queenslanders through the pandemic.

Right now in the sunshine state, pharmacists are being trained to provide high-quality care to more Queenslanders than ever before as the government rolls out its scope of practice pilot. It means that from next year pharmacists will be able to treat 23 everyday health conditions.

The work in Queensland is a significant achievement but it's not without its challenges. We now need to push for the Queensland model of scope of practice to be replicated in every state and territory, so it is harmonised.

That’s no easy task in a federation like Australia but now is the time to unlock opportunities for community pharmacy to do more to support Australia’s healthcare system and our patients.

Our health system is world class and community pharmacy is a key part of the tapestry that weaves that system together.

Bringing the Guild’s vision for community pharmacy to life will be no mean feat, but I am here for the challenge.

Our vision is to see community pharmacies across Australia become health hubs, the first port of call for treating more patients with health conditions and for those patients to benefit by saving time and money.

Just last week, new figures emerged showing that hospital emergency department waiting times continue to increase, with only 56% of people being seen to within four hours. Or to put it another way, 44% of patients having to wait four hours or more for treatment.

On the other hand, a recent EY report showed that pharmacists working to their full scope of practice would see 279,000 less hospital days per year and 54,000 fewer ED hours per year.

We can do more.

Our health system and the legislation that governs it is complex, but we stand ready. We are willing to work through the challenges and find solutions that will enable not just pharmacists but other allied health professionals to practice to their full scope.

State and Territory government can already see the benefits, but we want patients to experience the benefits.

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The Guild


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Page last updated on: 13 December 2023