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5 little-known reasons why pharmacists should not be playing doctor

Very sound reasons not to turn pharmacists into “low cost” doctors.

Doctor's Bag

5 little-known reasons why pharmacists should not be playing doctor Image: Pixabay.com

So there is a budget crisis. There’s also a new federal Health Minister. And, here it comes, community pharmacies are negotiating over a billion-dollar deal with the Government: The Community Pharmacy Agreement sets out the Government funding pharmacists receive for dispensing PBS medicines.

Put these ingredients together and what do you get?

Answer: Community pharmacists who want to be doctors – oh sorry – who want to be paid for what they think are the easy parts of the doctor’s job. Oops wrong again: They want to deliver ‘better and more cost-effective health outcomes’.

If it’s up to the Pharmacist Guild, pharmacists will be:

  • Filling repeat prescriptions to ‘free up doctors time’
  • Treating ‘easy’ minor ailments
  • Giving more vaccinations (e.g. a flu-shot for $25 with no Medicare rebate)
  • Doing ‘easy’ health checks, screening and preventive health services
  • Giving mental health support.

Sounds great doesn’t it? At first glance this improves access to health services and saves tax…

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