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Welcome boost in aged care funding

The Pharmacy Guild of Australia has welcomed the additional aged care funding package announced today, including support for community pharmacists to ensure more medication reviews can occur.

The $25.5 million increase in funding for medication management programs is a step in the right direction towards addressing medication misadventure and excessive use of chemical restraint in residential aged care facilities.

The shocking findings contained in the Interim Report of the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety demanded no less a response than that announced by the Federal government today.

The National President of the Pharmacy Guild of Australia, George Tambassis, said:

“Community pharmacists stand ready to play our part in improving the situations faced by too many Australians in aged care.

“We look forward to working through the details of the announcement to ensure the proposed additional residential medication management reviews are delivered in a way that ensures the best health outcomes for patients and added value for the system,” he said.

The funding for dementia training for health professionals is also welcomed. It is our view that some of this training should be made available to community pharmacies, which can be used to optimise access to early intervention and referral for the diagnosis of dementia, including for people living in rural and regional areas.

“The important role of local community pharmacies in providing comprehensive support to residential aged care facilities and to older Australians living in the community must be maintained to ensure that efficient and effective care is provided where and when it is needed,” Mr Tambassis said.

The Guild also believes there needs to be more flexible funding in home care packages to allow for the full scope of services that community pharmacies provide.

With appropriate funding, community pharmacy could provide an individualised aged care package to support older people to live independently at home for as long as possible and to support them if and when they move into residential aged care facilities, as well as those requiring palliative care.

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