Hospital Pharmacists congratulate ALP and Prime Minister Anthony Albanese on election win

Hospital Pharmacists congratulate ALP and Prime Minister Anthony Albanese on election win

The Society of Hospital Pharmacists of Australia (SHPA) today congratulates the Australian Labor Party (ALP) and Prime Minister Anthony Albanese on winning the 2022 Federal Election, while urging the incoming government to continue to engage with the expert Hospital Pharmacy sector in implementing key election commitments to health.

On behalf of Australia’s 7,300+ Hospital Pharmacists, Technicians and Pharmacy Interns, SHPA President Peter Fowler welcomes the commitments the ALP has made to hospitals, Medicare, aged care, medicines access and affordability.

‘SHPA congratulates Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and the ALP, who are set to form government. We look forward to working constructively with the incoming Health ministry team to ensure Australians have more equitable access to vital, lifesaving medicines through the world-class Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) regardless of where they receive their hospital care.

‘We applaud the planned new Strengthening Medicare Fund, which seeks to improve access to GPs, including after-hours services. Hospital Pharmacists are acutely aware of the impact of medicines affordability, as the only bill Australians receive from public hospitals is for their PBS medicines. We welcome the ALP’s commitment to reduce PBS co-payments, as well as investing in and listing PBS medicines as a top priority, further strengthening this strong Labor initiative.

Mr Fowler says medicine management remains an ongoing challenge, with the transition of care from the acute setting to primary care presenting a particular challenge for health policy.

‘With the implementation of My Health Record and associated electronic medical records, hospital pharmacists are well placed to lead changes that will reduce harmful and potentially fatal medication errors and support better patient outcomes.  

‘This election has shown the importance of stability in crucial sectors such as hospitals and healthcare, and SHPA is keen to see that reflected in funding across pharmacy settings. In Prime Minister Albanese’s first term, several reviews into medicines will be finalised, including the National Medicines Policy, chemotherapy medicines and PBS medicines in hospitals.

‘It is therefore more important than ever for Hospital Pharmacists – who manage a quarter of the entire PBS expenditure and the majority of chemotherapy expenditure – to be engaged to help remove the barriers currently in place that contribute to Australians missing out on vital medicines.’

Mr Fowler welcomed Mr Albanese’s commitment to fifty new Medicare urgent care clinics, which will be delivered next financial year to take pressure off emergency departments. 

‘Hospital Pharmacists have been integral to the COVID-19 pandemic response, operating the state-run vaccination clinics which have delivered over 35% of doses to Australians. In this time, Hospital Pharmacists have also dealt with increased strain on public hospitals with overcrowded emergency departments and ambulance ramping, and a reduced healthcare workforce in which Hospital Pharmacists are being asked to do more with the same resources.

‘Hospital Pharmacists, along with our healthcare colleagues, call on the new government to further address these pressures, by commissioning a 10-year National Pharmacy Workforce Plan, one of SHPA’s election priorities, and increase Commonwealth hospital funding contribution to 50%, as requested by all State and Territory Health Ministers.

‘SHPA looks forward to a strong relationship with the Albanese Government, and ensuring the many campaign commitments have the maximum positive impact on our healthcare workers, hospital infrastructure and the health and wellbeing of Australians.’