PGA Newsletter – Vol.2 No.9 14th Mar.,2012

14th March.,2012
The Government has embarked on an ambitious health  reform agenda.  At the heart of these reforms is a commitment  to patient-focused care Patient focused care means we must make our health system 
more accountable and that means putting in place policy  levers that improve transparency and drive efficiency.
An ageing population, new medicines and health technologies, the increasing prevalence of chronic diseases all place demands on the health budget.   Meeting these demands in a sustainable way means we have to run our health system more efficiently while also maintaining quality.  Patient-focused approach In December last year, I was delighted to become the Minister.  
It’s a portfolio that straddles both social policy and economic policy and the decision that we make have such a profound impact on individual families and
society as a whole.
Two questions drive my approach to the Health Portfolio:
1 is it good for patients; and 
2 of all the competing demands for the health dollar, is this  the best thing I can with this amount of investment.
Two pharmacy reforms which passed through the Parliament last week meet both of these tests.The first was the laws to allow continued dispensing.Continued
dispensing is good for patients.  When the program starts on 1 July this year, it
will be easier for women to get the pill and for Australians who take statins to
continue to get their medicines even when their scripts have run out and they haven’t been able to get back to the doctor. New laws were also passed last
week to enable Medication Charts in residential aged care homes to also be used as a prescription.  
Currently a prescriber must write a medication order on both a PBS prescription and duplicate the  information on a medication chart.  The benefits to aged-care residents include reduced transcription errors and duplication. 
Pharmacists will also have timely notice of updates and changes to a resident’s medication regimen.

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