​Pharmacists call for extra funding for vulnerable populations

Media release: 12 May 2020

The Pharmaceutical Society, the professional body for all pharmacists, welcomes the Government’s announcement of $3.9 billion in extra funding for District Health boards in Budget 2020.

The Pharmaceutical Society is calling for District Health Boards to fund pharmacists to provide essential healthcare services for vulnerable populations as the New Zealand health system recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic.

This should enable vulnerable populations – those aged over 65, people with underlying health conditions such asthma, diabetes and people in the community trying to get blood tests and manage their warfarin medication, plus people suffering serious mental health and addictions - to access essential healthcare services from their community pharmacist over the next 18 months.

“Pharmacists are well positioned in the local community to provide front-line access to healthcare services,” says Pharmaceutical Society of New Zealand president Ian McMichael.

“Additional funding is needed urgently to enable pharmacists to meet the needs of vulnerable populations. The better the level of healthcare we can provide these people in the community, the less likely they are to end up in hospital.” says McMichael.

The Pharmaceutical Society will continue to work in partnership with the Ministry of Health, District Health Boards and PHARMAC to support pharmacists as they continue to provide essential healthcare services as New Zealand’s health system recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic.