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Community pharmacy has high hopes for new leaders

MEDIA RELEASE

18 November 2008

Community pharmacy has high hopes for new health leaders

The Pharmacy Guild of New Zealand is today welcoming the appointment of Hon Tony Ryall as Minister of Health.

Chief Executive Annabel Young says she is confident that the new Minister’s vision for the health sector will recognise the need to make greater use of pharmacists’ skills, particularly in primary health care.

“Mr Ryall not only appreciates the difficulties that community pharmacy has faced over the past decade but more importantly, understands the direction that the profession is heading.”

“Around the world, community pharmacists are being supported to play a greater role in primary health care which is giving GPs more time to spend on patients with serious illnesses. As the health professional New Zealanders see most often, pharmacists have the experience and professional skills to help people with their everyday health concerns” says Ms Young.

Both Mr Ryall and National Party colleague Dr Jackie Blue met with the Pharmacy Guild’s Executive Council in early August 2008 where they gave a strong indication of their party’s commitment to community pharmacy. Mr Ryall later reiterated these comments in a statement to Pharmacy Guild members where he said that ‘a National Government wants to see pharmacy firmly back in the primary health care team’ and acknowledged ‘the frustration that has occurred as a result of a static pharmacy services fee in the face of increased operating and compliance costs’.

The Pharmacy Guild is also pleased to see that leader of the UnitedFuture party Hon Peter Dunne and co-leader of the Maori Party Hon Tariana Turia have been assigned associate health portfolios.

“The Pharmacy Guild has a long-standing relationship with Mr Dunne and we look forward to his work on the Medicines Strategy being continued with the new Government. We also look forward to having further dialogue with Ms Turia about the contribution that pharmacists make to improving health outcomes.” says Ms Young.

ENDS

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