The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia has welcomed the announcement that pharmacists have been removed from the Skills Occupation List.
The Australian Government, through the Department of Immigration and Citizenship, has announced a revised Skills Occupations List for the purposes of migrating to Australia under the skilled migration program.
This revised list will become effective from 1 July 2013 and both hospital pharmacists and community pharmacists have been removed from the list.
The list facilitates the migration to Australia of people who are covered by occupations included in the list.
National President of the PSA, Grant Kardachi, said the removal of pharmacists from the list would help to consolidate the current pharmacy workforce in Australia.
“PSA has been advocating for better opportunities for the pharmacy workforce and in a submission for the 2013 list we stated that the pharmacy workforce was already in oversupply in metropolitan areas,” Mr Kardachi said.
“These views are informed in particular by the rapid increase in the number of pharmacy schools and the resultant increase in their output of graduates that has occurred since 1997.
Mr Kardachi said PSA would continue to seek solutions to the mal-distribution of pharmacists.
“It is apparent that the rural programs funded through successive Community Pharmacy Agreements are yet to succeed in ensuring a sustainable supply of pharmacists in rural Australia. Consumers living in rural areas deserve better,” he said.
“We have an oversupply in urban areas and an undersupply in rural areas and we must seek ways to address this so that consumers across the country have access to the skills and knowledge of pharmacists wherever they live.”