Pharmacists support call for change to health system

Media Release: 17 June 2020

The Pharmaceutical Society of New Zealand welcomes the publication of the Health and Disability System Review (Hauora Manaaki ki Aotearoa Whānui) final report and strongly supports the call for change in the country’s health system.

The Society agrees that the biggest potential to improve the health outcomes for those currently disadvantaged is by improvements in the way all primary and community services are organised.

“Improving access to healthcare services in the community is the first and most important step to preventing patients ending up in hospital later on,” says Society President Ian McMichael.

The pharmacy profession is keen to work with the Government and newly established Ministerial Committee to explore the opportunity to put into practice the professions current and future innovative solutions, as part of better integrated healthcare across the system and the whole community.

The pharmacy profession could build on the services already provided that support population health and wellbeing for consumers and their whānau, including support for mental health and addiction and medicine optimisation in elderly populations.

The pharmacy profession has the capacity, capability and competence to provide an appropriately trained workforce, which was demonstrated during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. “Pharmacy has shown itself to be accessible, affordable and accurate during the COVID crisis,” says McMichael.

The integrated health care framework developed by the Pharmaceutical Society of New Zealand and New Zealand Medical Association delivers a defined interprofessional teamwork approach to potentially providing beneficial health outcomes for our people.

The framework along with a collaborative approach could potentially help other parts of the system in delivering combined essential healthcare services for all New Zealanders.

The Society will ask the Prime Ministers Ministerial committee to consider a joint ministerial portfolio that is responsible for Health and Social welfare policy, which would support the proposed Welfare Overhaul and outcomes from the Health and Disability System review and can address more successfully the social determinants of the health of our communities.