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Guild disappointed but not surprised at lack of funding

Guild disappointed but not surprised at lack of funding allocated to pharmacy in Budget 2015

The Pharmacy Guild of New Zealand (the Guild) is disappointed but not surprised by the lack of funding allocated to pharmacy in yesterday’s Budget.

Guild Chief Executive, Lee Hohaia says “While there is potential for community pharmacy with the funding the Government has allocated to the health sector, it was disappointing to see that no funding was specifically allocated to address the issues currently facing community pharmacy.

“It is up to each DHB how they allocate this funding. We are hopeful that they will use this funding to address the medicine margin shortfall so that community pharmacy will not have to pass the shortfall onto patients. The ongoing expectation that pharmacy will dispense medicines procured at a loss is not fair or reasonable and has been an ongoing issue since 2009.

“We understand that the budget allocated to DHBs is insufficient to keep up with cost pressures. We hope that community pharmacy will be considered to help reduce pressures by being given the resources to work at the top of their scope. DHBs working more collaboratively with primary care will take the pressure off secondary care and help provide affordable health care services to New Zealand’s communities.

“It was good to see that initiatives around child hardship and screening for bowel cancer received additional funding. Such initiatives will benefit the health and wellbeing of many New Zealanders which the Guild strongly supports. Pharmacists are highly trained health care professionals whose wide range of skills are often underutilised, mainly due to the absence of adequate funding. With the right service and funding model, community pharmacy would welcome the opportunity to contribute to the bowel screening programme and would be well placed, as the health professional people see most often, to offer screening support to patients.

“Community pharmacies are consistently acknowledged for the highly professional, accessible and affordable health care services they offer but continuously receive inadequate funding to support ongoing service provision.

“The current funding shortfall to pharmacy is untenable and whether or not it was acknowledged in the Budget announcement we will be continuing to lobby on behalf of our members for fair and sustainable funding.”


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