News

Campaign aims to give a fair go to community pharmacies

Federal Maranoa MP Bruce Scott called to join a campaign to get a fair go for community pharmacies.
Federal Maranoa MP Bruce Scott called to join a campaign to get a fair go for community pharmacies. Contributed

THE Federal MP with the most one-pharmacy towns in Queensland has backed a campaign to stop the "vital and integral" services leaving the bush.

The Pharmacy Guild of Australia fears one-pharmacy towns in Queensland's rural areas could be forced to close their doors if they are left $90,000 out of pocket next financial year under unexpected changes to the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme.

The community pharmacy watchdog believes the other alternative is slashing important services for the elderly, children or chronically ill.

National president Kos Sclavos said the guild predicted the PBS changes might lead to job losses and cuts to aged care and home delivery services, mother and infant services, bowel cancer screening, blood pressure testing and wound management support.

He called on Federal Maranoa MP Bruce Scott to join a campaign to get a fair go for community pharmacies.

Mr Scott told APN he, too, was concerned about the future of pharmacies in his electorate.

"For the 24 towns in Maranoa with only one pharmacy, and the surrounding communities they service, this would be devastating and potentially life-threatening for patients," Mr Sclavos said.

"Country pharmacists - like everyone in the healthcare industry - want patients and consumers to be able to access essential medicines at an affordable price.

"Whereas previous changes were made in consultation with pharmacists, this time the industry has been blindsided and individual pharmacies will have no choice but to make difficult decisions on jobs, patient services, opening hours and even whether they can stay open at all."

The August 2 Economic Statement revealed unilateral changes to medicine pricing under the PBS without any consultation and, the guild says, in breach of the five-year Community Pharmacy Agreement.

Mr Scott said his rural communities could not afford to lose their pharmacies and he had already raised the issue with his Federal Coalition colleagues.

He said that as a former veteran affairs minister he made sure pharmacies were the third leg of the healthcare solution next to doctors and hospitals.

"To cut them out of the equation to find some possible savings will impact on the viability of many of my small country pharmacies," he said.

"A pharmacist is such an integral part of the health and wellbeing of people in our country communities.

"We cannot do without them and we shouldn't cut them short."

A Federal Labor campaign spokeswoman said the Rudd government was speeding up price disclosure so the prices of off-patent medicines dropped sooner and more often.

She said this meant patients paid less for some medicines and enable the government to list the newest drugs on the PBS.

"If the cost of medicines for pharmacists is dropping, then it makes sense that the price the government pays for these medicines should drop too - that's fair, and it's what taxpayers expect," she said.

One-pharmacy towns in Maranoa are Mungindi, Allora, Alpha, Ballandean, Barcaldine, Blackall, Charleville, Crows Nest, Clifton, Cunnamulla, Dalby, Jandowae, Miles, Millmerran, Quilpie, St George, Surat, Tara, Texas, Wallumbilla, Wandoan, Winton and Yarraman.

Topics:  bruce scott pharmaceutical benefits scheme pharmacies rural areas rural health



Our six art gallery picks for a creative day out

YOU may not associate Brisbane with a burgeoning art scene, but you’d be mistaken.

Six hideaway bars to escape winter chill

The Gresham's charm will win you over before your first sip.

THESE are the perfect places to hang this winter.

Brisbane's arts and culture events centre stage

You loved the film, now you're about to love the musical. Don't miss The Bodyguard The Musical in Brisbane this July.

THE arts and culture events you don't want to miss.

Homewares stores to fulfil your Instagram dreams

No Caption

You too can become an Insta-star with these fab stores.

Date nights under $50

Nothing is more romantic than a picnic with a cracking view.

NOT every date has to cost you a bomb.

Top 10 Brisbane experiences to cross off your bucket list

Do yourself a favour and get amongst the food truck scene. Eat Street is a great place to start.

A GOOD bucket list doesn’t have to span continents or cost millions.

Six mega sporting events you need to be at this year

Don't miss all the action trackside this season.

IF THERE is one thing Brisbane does damn well, it’s play host.

Man freed from car after Lawson Rd accident

The accident scene on Lawson Rd.

Emergency workers are still on the scene

Coal industry ad is 'Trumpesque'

Donald Trump

This letter writer doesn't like the new coal industry ad

Gympie to rally for victims of domestic violence

Gympie will be hosting a red rose rally to in support of victims of domestic violence.

Red Rose Rally to emphasise zero tolerance.

Local Partners

Karl Stefanovic's rant about Schapelle Corby 'a bit rich'

The fact is Stefanovic is paid extremely well by a television network that lives and dies by ratings.

Could Schapelle be heading for Gladstone?

Australian Schapelle Corby is escorted by Bali Police at the parole office in Denpasar, Bali, Indonesia, 27 May 2017.

Schapelle's mother teases her free daughter could be Gladstone bound

Six things you never knew about Men in Black

Mushu the pug

It's been 20 years since Men in Black first hit cinemas

10 strange stories behind famous sex scenes

Khaleesi and Khal Drogo in a steamy moment.

Every set has their own way of filming sex scenes

HBO spills new details on Game of Thrones’ final season

Game of Thrones’ eighth and final season will only have six episodes.

New details about what to expect from the eighth, final instalment.

Karl’s rant on Corby: ‘Made to look like idiots’

Karl Stefanovic is sick of hearing about Schapelle Corby.

Today co-host launched a tirade against Schapelle Corby media circus

Big Pineapple festival safety concerns as 100s walk home

LONG WALK HOME: Many festival goers opted to take a dangerous walk home due to transport difficulty following the Big Pineapple Festival in Woombye on Saturday.

Big Pineapple festival-goers have braved dangerous walks home

Bush-beach relief for renters in tough times

TENANTS: Families are finding it hard to put a roof over their heads in Gympie region.

Tenants on struggle street in from Gympie to Bundaberg

New $46.7m counter-terrorism facility to be built in Wacol

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, pictured with Police Commisioner Ian Stewart, has announced plans to build a new counter-terrorism facility in Wacol.

The facility will be built over three years.

Home to a sex worker: Sordid history of iconic Coast shed

Milojevic Djordjevic's daughter Linda at the derelict shed on Yandina-Coolum Road.

The shed was once a liveable 'barrack'.

This is real estate's billion-dollar man

Bob Wolff at AREC with John McGrath of McGrath Real Estate.

They don’t call him the “Billion dollar man” for nothing

Man's amazing comeback from monster crisis

Pat O'Driscoll agents Penny Keating and Doug Webber sold 56 Agnes St, The Range at auction over the weekend.

NOT long ago, he sold his possessions to pay staff. Now he's back.

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!