JOINT MEDIA RELEASE – Aboriginal health service pharmacist SIG launched

Oliver TyePress Release

In recognition of the growing number of pharmacists working in Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations (ACCHOs), the peak national body for pharmacists, the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA) has launched the ACCHO Special Interest Group (SIG). The ACCHO SIG was launched on Sunday 30 July at PSA17 in Sydney during the Aboriginal Health Service Pharmacist forum. PSA National President Dr Shane Jackson said pharmacists working in ACCHOs have specific needs and skills and having a Special Interest Group with the primary role of supporting them will assist PSA to drive the growth of this career path.

“In many cases pharmacists working in these positions are providing innovative and diverse services that have the potential to be informative and relevant to the evolution of pharmacy services and inter-professional care”.

“Consultation with these pharmacists and services about their needs is vital to ensure PSA and the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO) deliver relevant and meaningful benefits to PSA members and the wider pharmacy and health sectors,” Dr Jackson said.

A key role of the National ACCHO SIG Committee will be to provide up-to-date information to NACCHO and PSA on relevant issues that relate to both organisations. This will include input on improvements to PSA’s professional development and practice support programs that benefit ACCHO pharmacists. The SIG will also provide NACCHO with input on pharmacy-related trends and practices that affect ACCHOs. It is a joint committee to be run by PSA and NACCHO to foster collaboration, inform relevant policy and strengthen the relationships between these organisations with a shared commitment to embedding pharmacists in ACCHOs nationally. PSA also welcomed the announcement of a trial to support Aboriginal health  organisations to integrate pharmacists into their services. The ACCHO SIG will support pharmacists participating in this trial.

Dr Jackson said having a culturally responsive pharmacist integrated within an Aboriginal health service builds better relationships between patients and staff, leading to improved results in chronic disease management and Quality Use of Medicines.

Media contact:

Andrew Daniels Communications Manager 0487 922 175

Julian Fitzgerald NACCHO Communications Manager 0413 982 224