Many people have no doubt heard about the protests of pharmacists against the federal government and the stripping of funding from community pharmacy.
This culminated in scenes within Parliament House in Canberra last Monday where there was uproar as the attending pharmacists peacefully left the public gallery in protest.
Personally, I have been involved in talking with federal members of parliament and numerous organisations that are involved in health.
There is little to no understanding on how the funding for community pharmacies work and the extent of services provided that are free of charge to both patients and the government.
Medical organisations have politicised their positions from a place of ignorance and the other organisations that purport to support these changes are government funded subsidiaries of the government.
These changes will rip up to 40 per cent of core funding from community pharmacies across Australia which will result in higher prices for pharmacy goods and services, job losses and a reduction in community pharmacy service access, irrespective of pharmacy or location.
There will be very few patients that benefit from these changes, whereas the vast majority of patients will not benefit at all or even be worse off.
If your family take a number of regular medications and you hit the safety net, there will be no benefit.
If you take medications that fall below the $30 threshold, you will be unlikely to benefit.
If you utilise services or purchase products within the pharmacy, you will likely pay more.
It is complex as the funding is complex and much depends on the individual patient, the medications required and the services utilised.
In the Huon Valley, we are very lucky to have strong knit communities that support local businesses and services and a great network of medical practices, pharmacies and allied health services across our region that work closely together.
The best thing you can do as a patient or community member is talk to your local pharmacist and support them as much as possible.
Ask them how these policies will affect you and your family’s access and cost of healthcare.
If you would like to talk with me directly about how this affects you, please pop in and see me on either Mondays or Saturdays at Geeveston Pharmacy.