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Guild looks forward to new Health Minister’s leadership

Guild looks forward to new Health Minister’s leadership

The Pharmacy Guild of New Zealand (the Guild) welcomes Hon Dr David Clark to his new role as Minister of Health and looks forward to his leadership helping to expand the role of community pharmacy in the primary health care setting.

The Guild has enjoyed positive relationships with past Ministers and looks forward to establishing effective engagement with Hon Dr Clark, who prior to his appointment, was the Labour party’s health spokesperson and has been in Parliament since 2011.

Hon Dr Clark has previously advised us that Labour believes in the affordable provision of high quality health care services and equity of access for all New Zealanders, and that he wants to see pharmacists practising at the top of their scope.

The new Government has indicated that their plans for health include restoring funding to the health system to allow access for all, a real focus on primary care (reducing barriers to access and ensuring financial sustainability of practices), reviewing mental health services, and addressing standards of care and the financial sustainability of aged care services.

Guild Chief Executive, Andrew Gaudin says “Community pharmacy is ideally placed to offer support and advice in each of these areas. As the health professionals seen most often, community pharmacists are well aware of how often cost becomes a barrier to patients accessing health care. We welcome any initiative that seeks to improve access to health care and supports patients to achieve optimum health outcomes.

“Additionally, patients with mental health conditions, as well as our elderly community, are regular patients in many community pharmacies throughout New Zealand and we welcome community pharmacy being facilitated to provide extra support to these often high-risk populations. Community pharmacy has recently received additional funding as part of the Community Pharmacy Services Agreement to support mental health patients with medicine adherence and we look forward to learning how we can use this service, and other service options, to help support the Government’s aim of increasing access to mental health services.

“We look forward to engaging with the new Health Minister to further develop pharmacy’s role as a professional and accessible health care service provider within our communities and wish Hon Dr Clark all the best in this complex role supporting the health and wellbeing of New Zealanders”.

ENDS

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