Optimising the role of pharmacists

Hon Dr Jonathan Coleman

Minister of Health

29 October 2014

Health Minister Jonathan Coleman has announced the formation of a new steering group to explore optimising the role pharmacists play in community health care.

“Pharmacists are highly skilled and I want to ensure we are realising their potential as we move towards a more integrated health service,” says Dr Coleman.

The Pharmacy Steering Group will help develop clear priorities for pharmacy and provide advice to the Ministry of Health on how the role of pharmacists can be maximised.

"This Steering Group will tap into the good work already happening in pharmacy at a local and national level and make sure innovative solutions are widely disseminated,” says Dr Coleman.

“One of the priorities for the group will be to promote integration of pharmacy with other health care services to help cope with the challenges of an ageing population, increased demand for health care and increased prevalence of long term conditions.

“We need to do all we can to ensure coordinated care for patients and to encourage stronger links between services, whether in hospital or in the community. The pharmacist’s expert knowledge in medicine management can play a key part in that.

"This is a hugely positive step for pharmacy as a whole and I look forward to seeing the practical benefits of this work in action.”

The Steering Group, which met for the first time yesterday, includes representatives from community and hospital pharmacists. The group is co-chaired by Cathy O’Malley, the Ministry’s Deputy Director General of Sector Capability and Innovation together with a DHB representative.

Media contact: Angela Kenealy 021 220 0129

Last updated: Tuesday, November 4, 2014

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