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Pharmacies threatened by government's latest attack on P.B.S.



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P A R L I A M E N T O F A U S T R A L I A

H O U S E O F R E P R E S E N T A T I V E S

P.O. B O X 1 2 0 6 . B O O R A G O O N . W .A . 6 1 5 4

SUITE 8, G A T E W A Y M E L V I L L E C IT Y CEN TRE BOORAGOON TEL. (09) 364 5554, (062) 77 4169

FA X: (09) 364 9971

P E T E R S H A C K , M .P .

F E D E R A L MEMBER FOR T A N G N E Y

SHADOW MINISTER FOR H EA LTH

COMMONWEALTH PARLIAMENTARY LIBRARY MIC AH

MEDIA RELEASE 3rd MAY, 1989. 26/89

PHARMACIES THREATENED BY GOVERNMENT'S LATEST ATTACK ON P.B.S.

Pharmacists' around Australia are justifiably angry about the Hawke Government's push to make further changes to the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) as part of its April mini-budget strategy, Shadow Minister for Health, Peter Shack

said today.

Speaking after a meeting with representatives of the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia Mr Shack said, "These changes, which the Government has euphemistically described as a "restructuring" of the PBS, can have but one result and that is

to jeopardise the health care of all Australians by placing many of the nation's 5,500 pharmacies in an extremely precarious financial position.

"It is a nonsense for the Government to try and pretend that pensioners will not be affected by these changes particularly when those living in some rural and outer suburban areas could find themselves without a local pharmacy to dispense their

prescriptions.

"If the Government goes ahead with its plans, such a scenario may become all too common as more and more pharmacies give up the struggle to keep their doors open^

"In the short term such closures might be welcomed by the Government, but in the long term it would pay the price for denying people ready access to a community pharmacist and the professional counselling and dispensing services they provide.

"This proposed "restructuring" of the PBS is symptomatic of the Government's whole approach to health care and that is to try and force health care professionals to carry the can for all the problems which have been visited upon us by Medicare.

"For example, GP's, surgeons, specialists and pathologists have all been attacked at one time or another and now it seems it is the pharmacists' turn.

"It's as ridiculous for them to be singled out as it is for the Government to campaign against any other group of health workers.

"High quality health care can only be delivered if there is ready . access to the services of the whole health sector and pharmacists are in the front line of such a team effort.

"Any attempt on the part of the Government to remove pharmacists from this front line ignores the fact that medication and good advice on how to use it to the best advantage can avoid the need for other more expensive forms of treatment such as surgery and hospitalisation".

Further information: Peter Shack (062) 77 4169.