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Guild welcomes increased access to funded flu vaccinations

MEDIA RELEASE

15 March 2017

Guild welcomes increased access to funded flu vaccinations through community pharmacy

The Pharmacy Guild of New Zealand (the Guild) welcomes PHARMAC’s decision to fund the provision of influenza vaccinations to eligible patients through community pharmacy.

PHARMAC announced this afternoon that from 1 April 2017 community pharmacist vaccinators will be able to administer funded flu vaccinations to patients aged 65 and over, and to pregnant women.

Guild Chief Executive, Andrew Gaudin says “This is a fantastic outcome for both patients and pharmacy. Vaccinating pharmacists are highly trained health professionals and are ideally placed to be providing this service. Eligible patients can now opt to access this funded service within their community, from a professional health care provider, without the need for an appointment.

“Eligible patients will be able to choose whether they receive their funded flu vaccine from their pharmacy or general practice, which will increase access, help address health inequalities, and help to reduce burdens in other areas of the health system.

“The Guild made a submission to PHARMAC on behalf of our members in support of this proposal last month and we are extremely pleased with this outcome. This change utilises the additional skills of vaccinating pharmacists and supports an integrated model of care.

“The service will also provide an important point of contact at the community pharmacy, between pharmacists and patients who may not have seen their GP for some time. The initiative also aligns closely with the Pharmacy Action Plan’s vision of a one team approach coupled with the provision of care closer to home.

“Our view is that we are not taking this service away from GPs but that pharmacy will be able to access patients who would otherwise not get a flu jab, and together with GPs we will be able to increase national immunisation rates.

“We extend out thanks to the Ministry of Health for driving this proposal and to PHARMAC for facilitating the schedule changes to make this service possible.”

ENDS


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