Mindfulness for health professionals – by Dr Kathryn Choules (PhD) and Dr Samantha Clarke (PhD)

Kathryn Choules

Due to my own developing interest in mindfulness in my own practice as an optometrist, and for the wider community of health practitioners, I thought it was worth asking mindfulness teachers and psychologists about how health practitioners can be mindful in their practice and interactions with patients. I was fortunate enough to receive responses from [Read More…]

Will pharmacists continue to be paid penalty rates on Sundays and public holidays?

pharmacist wages and remuneration

The Fair Work Commission’s decision on penalty rates and other conditions in selected industries has hit workers in many professions, including pharmacists. The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia stated its concern that the new rule which cuts Sundays and public holiday penalty rates may lead to pharmacists who work on weekends and public holidays to be [Read More…]

New index to examine geographic supply of clinical health workforce for Indigenous Australians

spatial distribution of clinical health workforce

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare utilised a new measure for its report, Spatial distribution of the supply of the clinical health workforce 2014: relationship to the distribution of the Indigenous population. The measure is Geographically-adjusted Index of Relative Supply (GIRS), which was developed to overcome limitations in using relatively simple provider-to-population ratios to [Read More…]

Changes to emergency contraception medicines for pharmacists

emergency contraception guide for pharmacists

Following changes to emergency contraception (EC) medicines in Australia, ulipristal is now approved for supply as EC up to 120 hours after unprotected intercourse. And as of 1 February 2017, pharmacists have been able to supply ulipristal to women as a Pharmacist-Only (Schedule 3) medicine. The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia has updated its detailed guidelines [Read More…]

Pharmacists’ responses to codeine upscheduling decision

prescription only codeine

The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) has announced that products containing codeine will be available only with a prescription from February 1, 2018. Pharmacists are largely disappointed with the decision. They say that this is not the answer to misuse issues and, that it creates a new problem for patients who genuinely need them. According to [Read More…]

Identifying and eliminating biofilm in chronic wounds

identifying and eliminating bioflim

Some sources claim that almost 80% of chronic wounds are colonised with biofilm. Biofilm has a significant tolerance to antibiotics and biocides while remaining protected from host immunity. While awareness of the presence and impact of wound biofilm has advanced enormously, understanding of its pathogenesis is yet to be clarified fully. The International Wound Infection [Read More…]

MedAugment won $10,000 for an app helping people take medication


Aiming to help people take their medication and use medical devices safely, MedAugment was the winner of the $10,000 Impact Innovation Group Services prize in this year’s $250,000 QUT Innovation Challenge MedAugment is a new interactive smartphone app currently in development. The prize allows MedAugment to continue commercialising the app, which is focusing initially on [Read More…]

General Practice Pharmacist Fundamentals education program has been launched


The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA) has launched an education program called the General Practice Pharmacist Fundamentals. This is an online course which will provide expert guidance to pharmacists interested in this important area of practice. PSA National President Joe Demarte said that the course is backed by a suite of practice tools to help [Read More…]

Guidance for administering chloramphenicol for bacterial conjunctivitis


The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia has released a guideline on the provision of chloramphenicol for ophthalmic use for bacterial conjunctivitis. The guideline covers four steps to be taken by pharmacists in the dispensing of chloramphenicol. Meet professional obligations Pharmacists are obliged to the Professional Practice Standards (PPS) and the Code of Ethics for pharmacists Pharmacists [Read More…]

U.S physicians prescribed particular brand-name medication after industry-sponsored meals


A study in the United States has found that physicians who received industry-sponsored meals tend to prescribe the brand-name medication that was being promoted. The study used industry payment data and Medicare prescribing records from 2013 which recently became publicly available in the United States. The most-prescribed brand-name medications in 4 drug classes are: rosuvastatin [Read More…]

Tackling antimicrobial resistance


The federal government has announced the implementation of the National Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) Strategy 2015-2019. The strategy is developed under the Coalition Government’s new plan, in partnership with health professionals, research communities, veterinarians and agricultural industries. The implementation plan outlines specific focus areas for action to minimise the development of antimicrobial resistance and ensure the [Read More…]

Is losing vision the worst possible health outcome? Research says perhaps it is……


A study in the US has revealed that for Americans, losing vision is equal to or worse than losing hearing, memory, speech, or a limb. However, although vision was a priority, many Americans were unaware of important eye diseases and their behavioral or familial risk factors. The study involved 2044 survey respondents in an online [Read More…]

Cosmetic procedure guidelines for medical practitioners and vaccination statement for nurses


Boards of the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency have been cracking down on unsafe conduct from medical practitioners and nurses. Effective on 1 October 2016, the Medical Board of Australia imposed new cosmetic guidelines to ensure patient safety. These guidelines appliy to medical practitioners who perform cosmetic medical and surgical procedures. The new guidelines require: [Read More…]

Dental care for people with dementia


The Australian Dental Association and Alzheimer’s Australia has partnered to support dentists treating people living with dementia through a series of videos, Partnership in Practising Care. The series aim to educate dentists and their team on best practice care for people living with dementia, with emphasis on the importance of continuity of care, using preventative [Read More…]

Funding for preventative health initiatives reduced: Australia’s Health 2016 report


The Australia’s Health 2016 report has revealed that funding for prevention initiatives has reduced from 2.2% (2008) to 1.4%, contrary to the belief that prevention is better than cure. This goes against the expectation of 76% of Australians that investment in preventive health should be one of the top ten priorities. Public Health Association of [Read More…]

The rate of diabetes in patients presenting to emergency deparments


A team of researchers led by Dr Dr Tien-Ming Hng of Western Sydney Local Health District conducted a study to test whether targeted glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c) testing of high-risk populations could enhance the detection of diabetes and prediabetes. The study was conducted in the Blacktown-Mt Druitt Hospital, which located in an area of high diabetes [Read More…]

So you’re almost a registered pharmacist: what else do you need to do? By Kenny Lee

Kenny in Boston

You’re almost there. You’re part-way through your intern year, and you want to make sure the transition to registered pharmacist life is without unnecessary stress. It certainly pays to have a personal checklist of things you NEED to do to be registered (legally), and things that are worth considering. Back when I was newly registered, [Read More…]

ATAR or OP for pharmacy courses in Australia

raining ATARS

There are 16 accredited undergraduate pharmacy courses in Australia and 6 postgraduate courses. As of 2016, University of Sidney offers new course, Bachelor of Pharmacy and Management, whilist Bachelor of Pharmacy at the Universityf Queensland is no longer available for enrolment. For entry into a pharmacy course commencing in 2016, the ATAR ranged from around [Read More…]

Exhilarating! My week with the Royal Flying Doctor Service – by Rebecca Irwin – medical student and NRHSN Chair

Rebecca Irwin RFDS week

The unique exhilarating experience of flying to remote communities and stations to provide health care is unparalleled by anything I have experienced thus far. I loved flying with the Royal Flying Doctors Service (RFDS) to remote locations, hopping from station to station, community to community, providing health care as we went. Occasionally we were diverted [Read More…]

Overcoming the struggles faced by students in becoming competent health professionals – by Yaw Kyei – pharmacy student

Yaw Kyei

“As healthcare students, we are faced with struggles and challenges that can often be a deterrent in pursuing our studies. These struggles are different for all and affect each individual differently, but if we cannot overcome these issues, there will be gaps in the healthcare we provide and this will not be ideal for our [Read More…]

Telemedicine: A Fundamental Addition to Contemporary Medical Curricula – by Christopher Lemon

Christopher Lemon

“Medicine and technology are intrinsically linked. Many advances in health have been contingent upon synonymous advances in technology. This has become particularly clear in recent times when considering the extent to which to technology has helped to substantially improve not only understandings of disease processes, but also the ways in which they can be managed. [Read More…]

TGA AusPARs survey closes 31st July 2016

TGA AusPARs survey 2016

Australian Public Assessment Reports for prescription medicines (AusPARs) users have been invited to participate in a survey conducted by Therapeutic Good Administrations (TGA). The TGA wants to know what the users think about the AusPARs for prescription medicines. Survey responses may be lodged without specific identifiers, i.e. email address and organisational affiliation are optional. The [Read More…]

Child Oral Health – a hidden crisis

child oral health

The British Dental Journal Team has said that woeful children’s dental decay statistics are making headlines in the UK, and have suggested that the quickest way to address this could be influencing their parents and carers. We asked the Australian Dental Association what factors are at play for children’s oral health closer to home and [Read More…]

Victorian Supercare pharmacies open 24 hours

supercare pharmacies open 24 hours

The Victorian Super Pharmacies Labor Party election commitment has come to fruition with the opening of the five first community pharmacies to open 24 hours a day, every day. The initiative was announced by Minister for Health, Jill Hennessy, back in November 2015, and the pharmacies opened in June 2016. Supercare Pharmacies provide round-the-clock access [Read More…]

Health industry voices its opinions as the #healthelection2016 looms

health funding around federal election

Health organisations around the country have been lobbying for a greater share of the health spending dollar in the lead up to the election tomorrow. Federal Minister for Health, Sussan Ley, claims to have put patient outcomes at the centre of health reform in the Federal Budget released in May 2016, but many associations are [Read More…]

Skilled Occupations List submissions put workforce shortages and excesses in the spotlight

Skilled Occupation List 2016

The new Skilled Occupations List (SOL) comes into effect on 1st July 2016. There have been changes to the status of a number of health professions, and a large number have been flagged for consideration in 2017. Health professions being added to SOL from 1st July 2016: Orthotist or prosthetist Audiologist Health professions being removed [Read More…]

How to get a job in hospital pharmacy

tips to get a job in hospital pharmacy

The Society of Hospital Pharmacist of Australia (SHPA) has shared some suggestions for how to get a job in hospital pharmacy. They stated that community pharmacists don’t have to have completed an internship in a hospital. 1.   Get a good understanding of what is expected of hospital pharmacists First of all, look at job [Read More…]

We’re frozen, there’s no provision for preventative health and it will be difficult for the poor to stay well – the aftermath from the 2016 Federal Health Budget

2016 health budget

The Minister for Health Sussan Ley has said that the 2016 federal budget puts patient outcomes at the centre of health reform, but there doesn’t seem to be much agreement from the health industry. One of the main reasons why the industry hasn’t supported the health budget is due to the freeze on the Medicare [Read More…]

61 recommendations for Choosing Wisely Australia

choosing wisely 61 recommendations

Sparking conversations between patients and clinicians about what care and management is truly necessary for specific conditions is the goal of the Choosing Wisely Australia initiative. The campaign has released 61 recommendations of tests, treatments and procedures that may not be necessary and could cause harm to Australian patients as the global healthcare initiative continues [Read More…]

Community Pharmacy Immunisations – A new frontier for patients – by Sam Turner

Sam Turner

Pharmacists are consistently rated amongst the top most trusted professions in Australia. With a network of over five thousand community pharmacy’s, expanding presence in primary health services and an increasingly utilised value in multiple collaborative healthcare settings, pharmacists continue to play the important role of being the most accessible healthcare professionals in Australia today. That [Read More…]

Are you really listening? A view from the other side. By Gitte Backhausen – patient

Gitte Backhausen profile

Okay, so I know it’s practitioner month on My Health Career in May and that most of what we’re doing is sharing stories about the inspiring things health professionals are up to. When I got this article through from Gitte, I literally felt a bit sick in my stomach reading about everything she’d been through. [Read More…]

Is the future of healthcare here? Dr Andrew Lin, co-founder of CliniCloud talks connected devices

Clinicloud phone

You may have heard of CliniCloud, the health-tech startup who recently received $5 million in funding. Business partners Dr Hon Weng Chong and Dr Andrew Lin met at medical school, and both had a passion for technology and the benefits it could bring to healthcare. CliniCloud is at the stage of shipping its first product, [Read More…]

Antibacterial soap and regular soap: which one is more effective?

does antibacterial soap work

Antibacterial soap containing triclosan (0.3%) was no more effective than regular soap at reducing bacterial contamination when used under ‘real-life’ conditions, as concluded by research from Korea published in the Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy. The researchers aimed to examine the in vitro and in vivo bactericidal effect of triclosan (the most widely used antiseptic agent [Read More…]

Cannabis products made legal for Australian patients

legalisation of cannabis-derived substances for medicines

Australian parliament has passed the Turnbull Government’s historic legislation to legalise the use of medicinal cannabis products for Australian patients, with the right procedures. Referred to as “missing piece”, cannabis now become a legal and reliable medication for the management of painful and chronic conditions. “This is an historic day for Australia and the many [Read More…]

Checked your professional indemnity insurance lately? Revised PII standards for 8 professions will come into effect on 1 July 2016

AHPRA professional indemnity insurance

Effective on 1 July 2016, eight health professions in Australia will need to meet the obligations of the revised standard for professional indemnity insurance (PII) arrangements. The revised standard will replace the existing standard that is currently in place. The registration standard does not apply to the current cycle of renewals. However, the practitioners need [Read More…]

The 10 commandments of patient-centred care

the ten commandments for patient-centred care

A team of UK researchers has transformed their paper, published in the British Journal of General Practice, into a website fully dedicated to covering the 10 commandments for patient-centred treatment. Although it is about general practice, the principles are similar for any health profession, particularly where the profession involves disgnostics, prescribing medications or giving medications [Read More…]

Patient satisfaction on pharmacist prescribing is high

patient satisfaction with pharmacist prescribing

Results of a study on collaborative doctor-pharmacist prescribing showed a positive outlook on the future role of pharmacy in Australia. Andrew Hale led the investigation to find out whether patient satisfaction with the pharmacist as a prescriber and collaborative doctor-pharmacist prescribing may be barriers to implementation of pharmacist prescribing. Surveys of 200 patients in a [Read More…]

Over 40% of diabetics with a foot ulcer die within 5 years

diabetic foot ulcers mortality rate

A recently published UK study has confirmed long-believed association between diabetic foot ulcers and an increased risk of death. 414,523 people with diabetes enrolled in practices associated with The Health Improvement Network in the United Kingdom were analysed for this study to evaluate the effects of diabetic foot ulcers and the covariates on death. Among [Read More…]

Robotics in pharmacy – opportunity or threat – what is the SHPA’s stance?

pharmacy dispensing robots

At My Health Career we have been hearing more and more about the uptake of “dispensing robots” in pharmacy, particularly in the hospital sector. We decided to ask the Society of Hospital Pharmacists of Australia (SHPA) what their stance is on these robots. Following is their statement. “Robotics that improve the medication supply process have [Read More…]

GradStats from the turn of the century…. What are health graduates getting paid? What’s the employment rate?

GradStats 2015

While starting salaries for new graduates from university health degrees have increased significantly since 1999, the percentage of graduates going directly into a full time job has dropped, according to GradStats data. Employment rate The GradStats figures show that there is now a lower full time employment rate for medicine, pharmacy, dentistry, nursing (initial), rehabilitation, [Read More…]

$250 million for translating medical research into real benefits

Biomedical Translation Fund

The Australian Government will invest $250 million over two years to help translate Australian health and medical research into commercial reality as part of the National Innovation and Science Agenda (NISA). This investment will provide the funds to improve the quality of life of Australians. The Biomedical Translation Fund alongside the Medical Research Future Fund [Read More…]

Australian hospital statistics 2014-2015

emergency department report 2014-15

Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIWH) has released Emergency department care 2014-15: Australian hospital statistics, which reports on emergency department performances across the country. The most positive aspect highlighted in the report are that the majority of emergency department patients are seen on time for their urgency (triage) category. Here is a quick snapshot [Read More…]

Premature babies are more likely to develop psychiatric disorders

brain circuit abnormalities in premature babies

Babies born prematurely face a wide range of complications, and new research has suggested that this issue now includes a higher risk of developing neurological and psychiatric problems. The researchers found that some key brain networks linked to attention, communication and emotion were weaker in premature infants. This finding offers some explanation for why children [Read More…]

The Pharmacy Guild of Australia’s position statement on substitution of biosimilar medicines

substitution of biosimilar medicine

The Pharmacy Guild of Australia has released a position statement supporting the Australian Government’s policies that encourage the use of biosimilar medicines to contain the cost of the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS). A biosimilar medicine is a version of an already registered biological medicine that has a demonstrable similarity in physicochemical, biological and immunological characteristics, [Read More…]

10 year road map for Closing the Gap

ten year road map to close the gap

Minister for Rural Health Fiona Nash has launched an Implementation Plan as a further commitment to Closing the Gap. The Implementation Plan is a ten-year road map: a strategy to better health for Indigenous children, Indigenous youth and Indigenous adults. The Coalition decided to adopt and build on the 10 year National Aboriginal and Torres Strait [Read More…]

Occupational therapy and driver assessment and rehabilitation

driver trained occupational therapists

Occupational Therapy Australia has released a position statement on driver assessment and training fitting within the advanced scope of occupational therapy practice. Assessing and rehabilitation or training of drivers with disabilities, age-related health declines or acquired impairments must be performed by driver assessor occupational therapists—OTs with post-graduate driver qualifications from an Occupational Therapy Australia recognised [Read More…]

16% decrease in notifications – AHPRA 2014-2015 statistics revealed

AHPRA annual report 2014 - 2015

The Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) and the National Boards has published the 2014/ annual report. The annual report outlines and highlights AHPRA and the National Board’s activities in 2014/15, as follows:   1.   Improving performance and services 637,218 health practitioners are registered from 14 different professions representing overall growth of 2.9% 16% [Read More…]

The revised guidelines for pharmacists come into effect on 7th December

New guidelines for pharmacists December 2015

The Pharmacy Board of Australia has released revised guidelines for pharmacists that include some changes in: Guidelines for dispensing of medicines Guidelines on practice-specific issues Guidelines on dose administration aids and staged supply of dispensed medicines, and Guidelines for proprietor pharmacists. Board Chair, William Kelly, said obvious changes included renaming the titles of guidelines to [Read More…]

The health industry responds to “Wasted” – the 4 Corners report on overdiagnosis and treatment in medicine

4 Corners Wasted health care system

Following the airing of the Four Corners report “Wasted” on 29th September, which featured commentary on the over diagnosis and over treatment of common health complaints including back pain, knee pain, chest pain and prostate testing, the conversation about inappropriate tests and procedures has gone well beyond the medical profession. “Wasted” implied that doctors are [Read More…]

More than 155,000 health practitioners due to renew registration by 30th November

health practitioner registration renewals

Twelve National Boards have launched their registration renewal campaigns for health practitioners whose registration to practise expires on 30 November 2015. A news item about renewal of registration is published on each of the following National Board websites: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Practice Board of Australia Chinese Medicine Board of Australia Chiropractic Board [Read More…]

Are patients becoming more open to pharmacists being in general practice?

Pharmacists’ access to GP records

A recent study published in the Pharmaceutical Journal found that 80% of 7,154 patients would grant access for pharmacists to see their GP record. The study was conducted by researchers at the University of Nottingham on community pharmacy vaccination services. Ninety eight per cent (98%) said that they would be happy if the pharmacist tell [Read More…]

The Pharmacists’ Support Service – pharmacists supporting pharmacists

Pharmacists' Support Service

My Health Career would like to thanks Kay Dunkley, a pharmacist with a particular interest in the health and well-being of health professionals for providing this guest article. Kay continues to practice as a consultant pharmacist as well as coordinating peer support programs for the pharmacy profession and for the medical profession. “As you commence [Read More…]

Becoming a health practitioner – registering with AHPRA

AHPRA health practitioner registration fees

The Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency has recommended that students who are about to graduate as health practitioners apply for registration 4-6 weeks before finishing your course. For many students, that is NOW!!! About to graduate as a health practitioner? Apply 4-6 weeks before finishing your course. More: http://t.co/TBvBlUJ0do — AHPRA (@AHPRA) September 4, 2015 [Read More…]

4 areas of health sector change in the NAB Health in Focus Report

NAB Health in Focus report

A new Australian health ecosystem, new frontiers for practitioners & medical specialists, developments in the pharmacy sector and the future of aged care have featured in Health in Focus – Health Sector Insights which was released by the National Bank of Australia’s NAB Health recently. Here is a summary of the 4 areas: 1.   [Read More…]

What is the ATAR or OP for pharmacy courses in Australia?

ATAR for pharmacy

The information in this article has been superseded by our 2016 article. As at September 2015, there are 16 accredited undergraduate pharmacy courses in Australia and 6 postgraduate courses. For entry into a pharmacy course commencing in 2015, the ATAR ranged from around 74 to 92.15. The following table shows the ATAR / OP scores [Read More…]

AHPRA welcomes report of 3 year independent review of the National Registration and Accreditation Scheme which regulates 14 health professions in Australia


The Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency recently welcomed a report following an independent three-year review of the National Registration and Accreditation Scheme (NRAS) and the Health Ministers’ response to its recommendations. ‘Such positive and constructive feedback reflects the focus and commitment to improvement of everyone who works at AHPRA, all members of national, state and [Read More…]

SHPA position statement on interdisciplinary teams

role of pharmacists in interdisciplinary teams

The Society of Hospital Pharmacists of Australia (SHPA) has released a position statement regarding the role of the hospital pharmacist in interdisciplinary teams. The SHPA believes that pharmacists should be part of collaborative and interdisciplinary team to provide the right service which is delivered at the right time, in the right location, by the right [Read More…]

Delay of medication availability in Australia

delay of new medicines in Australian market

A panel of 3 independent experts have found that although the Therapeutic Goods Administration is on average 90 days faster that world-leaders Europe in approving new medicines as safe, Australians are being forced to wait up to 15 months longer than the US and Europe to access the medicines because drug companies delay making them [Read More…]

Burnout in health professionals – Q&A with Dan Martin, a psychologist who has worked in rehab with doctors, pharmacists and nurses

Burnout in health professionals

Q. Can you please give us an overview on your experience working with health practitioners requiring rehabilitation?  A. For several years I worked at a rehab program that specialised in treating doctors with addiction and mental health issues. We also had a nurses and pharmacists program. Having treated hundreds of healthcare professionals who weren’t able [Read More…]

Catalyst statin broadcast proven to have impacted drug dispensing rates

catalyst did change statin use in Australia

It is estimated that more than 28,000 Australians ceased statin treatment after the airing of a Catalyst series in 2013, according to a study published in the Medical Journal of Australia. However, there was a return to the average levels of statin use after 18 weeks. The two-part Catalyst special edition, titled Heart of the [Read More…]

Allied health misses a guernsey in the Medicare Benefits Schedule Review Taskforce – by Amanda Griffiths

Medicare Benefits Scheme Review Taskforce

It’s been about a month since Minister for Health Sussan Ley announced the members of the Federal Government’s Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) Review Taskforce and the Primary Health Care Advisory Group (PHCAG). Although the PHCAG is made up of members from a number of health professions including physiotherapy, medicine and pharmacy, it is blatantly obvious [Read More…]

#WhyWeDoResearch campaign – by Cheryl Prescott and Claire Gibbs

Claire Gibbs and Abby Greaves

“The #WhyWeDoResearch campaign was conceived and launched via Twitter by Claire Gibbs, Senior Clinical Research Nurse (@ClaireGibbsUK) and Abby Greaves, Research Administrator, (@JPUHResearch) at the James Paget University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust in December 2014. Their intention was to use the hashtag #WhyWeDoResearch as a way to introduce core research team members to the public, [Read More…]

Over prescribed and under used: corticosteroid inhalers in Australia

use of asthma inhalers in Australia

The Australian Centre for Airways disease Monitoring (ACAM) has reported that prescription respiratory medications are being over-prescribed and under-used in Australia. The report shows that in 2013, prescription respiratory medications were dispensed to over 2 million people (about 9% of the population) but most only used them occasionally. Professor Guy Marks, Director of ACAM said, [Read More…]

PSA Excellence Awards – nominations open now

PSA Awards 2015

Pharmaceutical Society of Australia is once again celebrating exceptional pharmacists by opening nominations for PSA Excellence Awards 2015. You can nominate a pharmacist who is achieving via innovative practice, raising practice standards or providing a model of practice for others to strive to emulate.   The winners will be awarded at the PSA15 conference in [Read More…]

Revalidation of doctors

revalidation of doctors in Australia

The Medical Board of Australia has commissioned international research into revalidation of doctors to make sure doctors in Australia maintain the skills to provide safe and ethical care to patients throughout their working lives. The conversation about revalidation in Australia started in 2012. Evidence from Canada indicated that 1.5 per cent of medical practitioners were [Read More…]

6th CPA finally signed – what are the Guild, the PSA, the CHF and the AMA’s views?

6th Community Pharmacy Agreement signed

Federal Minister for Health Sussan Ley this week revealed that the government had signed 5 year agreements with the Pharmacy Guild of Australia, that is, the Sixth Community Pharmacy Agreement (6CPA) and also with the Generic Medicines industry Association (GMiA). The Department of Health have touted the agreements as “landmark deals benefiting consumers,” citing that [Read More…]

Call for health professionals to be more aware of signs of child sexual abuse surfaces during royal commission

child sexual abuse in institutions royal commission

The ABC has again reported on the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. They recently published revelations by psychologist Terence Kirkpatrick that he was sexually abused by a psychologist at the Royal North Shore Hospital (RNSH) in 1967 when he had been referred to the clinic to be treated for what was [Read More…]

Advertising health services is about so much more than the AHPRA guidelines

advertising laws for health professionals

Health practitioners need to be aware that their advertising must comply not just with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) guidelines where appropriate, but also with national law. Consumer Law The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) is the authority who enforces the Competition and Consumer Act 2010. The Act covers areas including false [Read More…]

The health industry’s reaction to the 2015 Federal Budget

health industry federal budget

As usual, the federal government’s health budget has been a mixed bag for the industry. Professional bodies representing practitioners including podiatrists, pharmacists, occupational therapists, medical practitioners, optometrists, dentists, nurses and medical students have all had something to say about the budget. Here’s a summary……   Building a Healthier Medicare The Government has announced that they [Read More…]

My rant following the most recent round of careers expos….

The dark side of career expos

I have just returned from a series of 4 careers expos in the New South Wales towns of Young, Forbes, Dubbo and Bathurst. Although this website was started especially for high school students considering a career in health and has lots of resources such as videos from real health practitioners and pathways information, there are [Read More…]

Non-medical prescribing in the UK

non medical prescribing

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) stated that only “appropriate practitioners” can prescribe medicine in the UK. There are two categories of the said practitioners: Independent prescribers, who are healthcare professionals responsible for assessing patient and making clinical decisions about how to manage the patient condition and prescribing medication. They include doctors, dentists, [Read More…]

Guild claims details of 6CPA negotiations have been misrepresented

career in industrial pharmacy

The Pharmacy Guild of Australia has said that details of the negotiations around the 6th Community Pharmacy Agreement (6CPA) as reported in an article in The Australian contain “rumour and misinformation aimed at destabilising the current negotiations for a new Community Pharmacy Agreement.” The Pharmacy Guild claims that The Australian story “contains a garbled account [Read More…]

Google awarded patent for smart contact lens to measure blood glucose

Google smart contact lens for diabetics

United States Patent & Trademark Office has awarded a patent to Google Inc. for a “smart contact lens having an uneven embedded substrate and method of manufacture”. It has been reported that the smart contact lens patent could be used to monitor a wearer’s blood sugar level. Google believes that it is a less invasive [Read More…]

Would you spend 30 hours a month with older folk to get free accommodation during uni?

Live in aged care facility during uni

According to a report in The Journal in Ireland, a nursing home in Deventer in the Netherlands is opening its doors for uni students to live with the elderly as housemates. Why would any young free uni students wish to live with the pensioners instead of partying with fellow college roommates? The rent is free. [Read More…]

Polio Australia: Improving Health Outcome for Australia’s Polio Survivors

Polio Australia

Many thanks to Mary-ann Liethof, National Program Manager of Polio Australia for contributing this valuable information for health professionals. Acute Polio Australia experienced waves of polio epidemics throughout the 20th century. However, with the introduction of the Salk and Sabin vaccines, polio was an uncommon infection in Australia by the early 1960s. According to the [Read More…]

Announcement of successful applicants for Primary Health Networks

Medicare Locals to Primary Health Networks

Minister for Health Sussan Ley has announced the successful applicants to run the 31 Primary Health Networks which will replace the 61 Medicare Locals from 1st July. In a statement from The Department of Health, the Primary Health Networks will “replace Labor’s flawed Medicare Local system of 61 fragmented regions, which were found by an [Read More…]

Reviving the “dead duck” – S3 medicines in community pharmacy

profit in community pharmacy

Once called a dead duck, now S3 medicines could possibly be the saving grace for community pharmacies. The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia has released a statement saying that the Pharmacist Only (Schedule 3) category is being embraced by progressive pharmacy owners who saw profit margins disappear in following the accelerated price disclosure, with S3 medicines [Read More…]

Pharmacy crying poor – the Pharmacy Guild and big pharma both call for government support

Australian pharmacy bailout

It seems that everyone is putting their two cents worth as the 6th Community pharmacy Agreement (6CPA) is being negotiated. On 31st March the Pharmacy Guild of Australia stated that the April 1 price cuts on medicine would put further financial pressure on community pharmacies at a time when they are already under economic stress [Read More…]

Pharmacy courses in Australia

pharmacy courses Australia

Students who are interested to study pharmacy may see the following list of approved programs published by the Australian Pharmacy Council and Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA). The lists are divided into undergraduate and postgraduate courses. Undergraduate 1. Northern Territory: Charles Darwin University 2. New South Wales: Charles Sturt University University of New England [Read More…]

The power of a smile – oral health as a part of overall wellbeing

dental health and general health

In a TEDx video titled The Power of a Smile, Dr Steven Lin talks about the association between oral health and overall wellbeing. For instance, a simple act of regular flossing once a day can prevent gum disease. And it has been shown that gum disease linked to more serious diseases, including heart disease, stroke, [Read More…]

Please don’t look at the latest Department of Employment projections and think it’s all rosy in the health industry

Department of Employment health industry projections

Once again the federal government’s industry employment projections data show that the Health Care and Social Assistance sector will be the leading provider of new jobs in the Australian labour market. However, just because the sector as a whole is performing well, do not interpret this to mean that all students who study degrees in [Read More…]

Pharmacy Guild slams latest article by News Limited journalist Sue Dunlevy which claims that “taxpayer funded pharmacy millionaires” are being created by a pharmacy monopoly

millionaire pharmacists

For the second time in a month, pharmacists have hit back at News Limited journalist Sue Dunlevy, this time calling her article published in the Daily Telegraph a malicious fantasy. The article, titled How a pharmacy monopoly pushes up your medicine price and makes pharmacies million dollar businesses implies that the 941 pharmacies which have [Read More…]

Consumer Health Forum calls for government to postpone the 6th Community Pharmacy Agreement (6CPA)

Postpone 6CPA

Mark Metherell, communications director and spokesperson for the Consumers Health Forum of Australia has called for the federal government to postpone the new pharmacy agreement (6CPA) which is meant to come into effect from mid-2015 and establish a joint parliamentary committee of accounts and audit investigation into the 5CPA. The comments from Mr Metherell were [Read More…]

Starting a Movement at NAPSA Congress – by Cassandra Lee and John Quinn

NAPSA congress 2015 - 1

“The National Australian Pharmacy Students’ Association (NAPSA) welcomed over 350 pharmacy students to their annual Congress from January 24th to January 30th. Students gathered to celebrate the progression of the future and learnt how they are the forefront of change, with delegates coming from as far away as Tasmania and Western Australia, from 19 universities. [Read More…]

Glaucoma co-management information for optometrists that was published in an ophthalmology journal

co-management of glaucoma

I recently attended a conference for optometrists where one of the speakers was Dr Andrew White PhD FRANZCO, the author of a “perspective” paper which was published in March 2014. The title of the paper was Guidelines for the collaborative care of glaucoma patients and suspects by ophthalmologists and optometrists in Australia. In a room [Read More…]

We need to take physical inactivity as seriously as smoking and alcohol abuse

take physical activity as seriously as smoking

Physical inactivity should be given equal priority to smoking and alcohol abuse, according to leading doctors at the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow. In 2012, the medical journal The Lancet has labelled a lack of physical inactivity as a “pandemic” which accounts for more than five million deaths around the world every [Read More…]

Polio resources for health professionals

polio resources for health professionals

Polio Australia has compiled a clinical practice resource module for health professionals as a broader information in support and health care for polio survivors, management of the Late Effects of Polio and/or Post-Polio Syndrome (PPS). The module has drawn from polio specialist, polio survivors, and evidence-based literature. On the website, there are also other resources [Read More…]

Cardiologist in a truck becomes the Heart of Australia

Heart of Australia

The Heart of Australia is a 25 metre clinic on a truck that is the brainchild of Dr Rolf Gomes, a Brisbane cardiologist. He had been moved by his concern about the lack of cardiac care in rural and remote areas, and the difficulties undertaken by rural people to access adequate health service. Compared to [Read More…]

Ovarian cancer symptoms and prevention still misunderstood

Teal Ribbon Day ovarian cancer

Teal Ribbon Day is being held today in an effort to raise awareness about ovarian cancer. And with good reason. The statistics are pretty scary. Research says that: over a quarter of Australians know someone who has been diagnosed with ovarian cancer only half of Australians know that ovarian cancer exhibits symptoms ovarian cancer has [Read More…]

A pharmacist’s experiences volunteering in Tanzania

pharmacist volunteer Tanzania

Claire Liew was a pharmacist in London hospitals when she decided to take her nine years experience to Tanzania, where demand for pharmacists far exceeds the supply. Joining with Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO), she was offered a role at St Walburg’s Hospital in Nyangao. Her duty was to set and build Raphael Pharmacy from the [Read More…]

PSA Young Pharmacist of the Year calls for an end to negativity around the profession

the positives in pharmacy

In October 2014 Taren Gill was named the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia’s Young Pharmacist of the Year for her work in innovating community pharmacy practice. She has worked extensively in aged care, mentoring and teaching. At the time of receiving the award Taren stated that “I see this as a celebration of my efforts and [Read More…]

Are plain cigarette packs really making a difference?

plain cigarette packaging study

On 1 December 2012, Australia became the first country in the world to introduce mandatory plain cigarette packaging. Cigarette manufacturers were required to produce plain cigarette packs with a large of coloured graphic health warnings (GHW). The purposes of the legislation are: Reducing the appeal of tobacco products to consumers Increasing the effectiveness of health [Read More…]

AHPRA to introduce further drug screening procedures for practitioners with substance related impairment

AHPRA drug testing for health practitioners

The Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) will be introducing mandatory hair testing for all practitioners with a substance related impairment. Under the screening protocol, all health practitioners who have restrictions on their registration linked to previous substance abuse will have routine hair testing in addition to the urine drug screening as per the interim [Read More…]

Upskilling online made possible by Monash University

Monash Online courses for health professionals

The health industry is incredibly rewarding yet can be a mentally draining area to work in. Take it from Natasha Jennings of the Alfred Hospital’s Emergency and Trauma Centre, who shared her typical day online at Health Victoria. Her exhausting day begins at 5am and she is seeing patients as soon as she steps into [Read More…]

Pharmacists hit back at supermarket article published by News Corp

supermarket pharmacy

The Pharmacy Guild of Australia’s Victorian president Anthony Tassone and Brisbane pharmacist Chris Owen have taken to Twitter to hit back at News Corp journalist Sue Dunlevy following the publishing of the article A chemist can own a supermarket, but supermarkets can’t own a pharmacy. In the article, it is implied that an IGA x-press [Read More…]

What’s the best diet? Free public event in Brisbane run by Dietitian Connection

Dr Joanna McMillan

Dietitian Connection has put together a world-class program of speakers so that your patients / clients and any member of the public can go along and hear about what they should REALLY be eating. With the theme “What’s the best diet? Paleo? Gluten-free? Sugar-free?” the event is sure to do some major myth-busting about what [Read More…]

Pharmacist disqualified for 30 years….

pharmacist disqualified for 30 years

A pharmacist, Mr Frank Balestra, has disqualified for 30 years by the The State Administrative Tribunal of Western Australia for professional misconduct of dispensing drugs for non-therapeutic reasons. At the tribunal hearing, Mr Balestra admitted that he has dispensed clomiphene, androgenic steroids, stimulants and human growth hormone to patients even though he knew the risks [Read More…]

Are your clients gluten free for the right reasons? by Sally Marchini APD

Sally Marchini dietitian

Accredited Practising Dietitian Sally Marchini was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes almost 40 years ago and then coeliac disease 13 years ago. It was that second chronic disease diagnosis that inspired her to go to university to become a dietitian, both to benefit her own health and lead by example to help others to enjoy [Read More…]

Tips for getting started in a career in industrial pharmacy

career in industrial pharmacy

The Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) has published an article to help pharmacists decide on whether working in industrial pharmacy might be a good fit for them…. The RPS says that working in the pharmaceutical industry can be completely different from working in a hospital or community pharmacy setting, and that if you are interested in [Read More…]

What do patients think about digital health? By Cathie Reid – Digital Health Summit post 4

technology in health

This is the fourth and final post in my series from the Digital Health Summit at CES 2015, following on from posts on wearables, disrupting the doctor visit, and how pharmacy can avoid its own Kodak moment. It was fantastic to see the program include a session on the patient perspective, as all too often [Read More…]

Is pharmacy facing its Kodak moment? By Cathie Reid – Digital Health Summit post 3

Pharmacy career

“This is the third post in a series from the Digital Health Summit that formed part of CES 2015, with the first talking about the role of sensors and wearables and the second on how the traditional doctor visit is facing significant disruption. Pharmacy has been fighting for greater recognition as a genuine member of [Read More…]

GAMSAT 2015 registrations close soon


If you are looking at applying for post-graduate courses in medicine, dentistry, optometry or podiatric medicine in 2016 or 2017, you may need to sit the Graduate Medical School Admissions Test (GAMSAT) this year. Is GAMSAT required for the course you wish to apply for? If you hold a Bachelor’s Degree, GAMSAT is at least [Read More…]

Antibiotic resistance featured by….. an economist on TED!!!

antibiotic resistance

Over the past 70 years, antibiotics have been transformed from life-saving drugs into drugs “which have been used rather frivolously in some instances” according to Ramanan Laxminarayan an economist who is researching drug resistance as a problem of managing a shared global resource. In this following video, he calls on every sector, patients and doctors [Read More…]

2015 NAPSA congress coming up on the Gold Coast – by John Quinn & Rebecca Pryce

2014 NAPSA congress cropped

After a 10-year hiatus the NAPSA (National Association of Pharmacy Students Australia) Congress returned to Adelaide in 2001, and has been held at various Pharmacy Schools ever since, with the 2015 Congress being held at Griffith University on the Gold Coast. The Congress is planned by a committee of students and brings together 19 Pharmacy [Read More…]

Do community pharmacists really spend a lot of their time “licking and sticking?”

what does a community pharmacist do

A UK study published in the International Journal of Pharmacy Practice in October has concluded that: Despite repeated attempts during the last decade to shift pharmacists’ roles towards patient-care activities, on the basis of this research, community pharmacists continue to spend the majority of their time on technical dispensing (as opposed to cognitive patient-centred) tasks. [Read More…]

Becoming a medical writer

medical writing career

Medical writing is the term used for a field that can include journalists who specialize in writing in healthcare and medicine as well as doctors, nurses and other health professionals who go into the areas of writing and editing. Medical writing is a small profession, with the peak body, the Australasian Medical Writers Association having [Read More…]

Optometrists no longer able to independently manage glaucoma

optometrists managing glaucoma

The Optometry Board of Australia’s revised Guidelines for use of scheduled medicines was released on Monday 8th December 2014 with the amendments made to the treatment of glaucoma by optometrists effective immediately. Under the guidelines, optometrists are still able to assess patients for glaucoma, make an initial diagnosis and commence treatment where appropriate, but must [Read More…]

Expansion of practice pharmacist role depends on remuneration

Practice pharmacist role expansion

Remuneration is being touted as one of the major issues involved in integrating more pharmacists into general practice settings. According to a paper published in the Journal of Pharmacy Practice and Research, of the 26 practice pharmacists who completed a questionnaire, most worked as independent contractors in providing services. Practice pharmacists were most commonly conducing [Read More…]

#EZDrugID petition aims to reduce drug errors in Australia


Melbourne anaesthetist Nicholas Chrimes has launched a petition on change.org in an effort to reduce the risk of drug error and increase patient safety. The campaign, which has the social media hashtag #EZDrugID, was started on 9th December, and has had over 280 supporters sign the petition in the first 72 hours. Should ability to [Read More…]

Canberra pharmacist Samantha Kourtis wins two major awards in 2014

Canberra Pharmacist ACT Businesswoman of the Year 2014

2014 has been an exceptional year for Samantha Kourtis, a Canberra pharmacist who has taken out two major awards. She has been recognised not only in the scope of community pharmacy, but also in the wider scope of business. Earlier this year, as managing partner of Capital Chemist Charnwood, she and her team were named [Read More…]

Optometrists will no longer be able to independently manage glaucoma when new guidelines are released

Optometry guidelines for managing glaucoma

If you have followed the development of the glaucoma treatment saga this week, it’s been confusing times. The basic plot is that after about 18 months of court action, the Optometry Board of Australia will be modifying its guidelines on glaucoma diagnosis and management. While the current guidelines allow therapeutically qualified optometrists the scope to [Read More…]

Last-minute Victorian election promises include 24 hour pharmacies with night nurses

Victorian election health promises 2014

As Victorians go to the polls today, last-minute election promises have been in full swing in the lead up to the state government elections. Health is always one of the hot political topics, and the two major parties have not disappointed, both coming up with last-minute plans for the health system being released this week. [Read More…]

Aussie blokes under 35 who play footy – the likely patients in hospital due to sporting injuries

sports injuries causing hospitalisation

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) has released a new report “Australian sports injury hospitalisations 2011-2012.” It is estimated that 36,000 people aged 15 and over spent a total of 79,000 days in hospital due to injury sustained while playing sport. According to the report, around one third of all sports injury hospitalisations [Read More…]

Overworked and underpaid pharmacy interns – PPA says it’s time to fix the system

Pharmacy intern conditions

Chris Walton, CEO of Professional Pharmacists Australia (PPA), has said that rather than providing an instructive first step in a career in pharmacy, an increasing number of young pharmacists are reporting an intern year dogged by unexpected problems. This is interfering with them gaining the professional work experience that they need and want. When asked [Read More…]

Tweet-a-thon shares how pharmacists make a difference

picture 1

Heard of the #pharmacist tweet-a-thon? We hadn’t. Luckily The Society of Hospital Pharmacists of Australia (SHPA) was all over it! They recently joined pharmacists from across the globe in the second annual #pharmacist tweet-a-thon. Pharmacists shared how they made a difference to patients and colleagues on the day. Natalie Bedini from SHPA explains why they [Read More…]

Vaccination training course for pharmacists going national

Pharmacist vaccination PSA

Pharmacists are being invited to register an expression of interest to complete the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia’s (PSA) nationally accredited vaccination course “APPIMM806A Manage the delivery and administration of injections and immunisations.” The course has been accredited following the Queensland Pharmacist Immunisation Pilot (QPIP). It is likely that the accreditation of the course will again [Read More…]

AHPRA seeking health practitioner members for 11 of its 14 boards

AHPRA national board applications

AHPRA is seeking to fill 102 practitioner and community member vacancies on 11 of its national boards. Professions which have board vacancies for health professionals are Chinese medicine, chiropractic, dental, medical, nursing & midwifery, optometry, osteopathy, pharmacy, physiotherapy, podiatry and psychology. The functions of a national board include the registration of students and practitioners in [Read More…]

TEDx talks and beyond? Wonderful opportunities and unique challenges abound in the life of an academic (and my career has yet to officially begin!)

TEDxPerth_2014_Talking pose

We asked pharmacist and PhD candidate Kenny Lee what it was like to speak at the recent TEDxPerth event….. “Each year at TEDxPerth, local and international ‘thinkers and doers’ from vast disciplines are invited to share ideas, inspire and engage a large (live and online) audience through short talks of no longer than 18 minutes. [Read More…]

Home Medicine Reviews every two years

Home Medicine Reviews every two years

The Primary Health Care Research & Information Service (PHCRIS) has produced a review of the Home Medicine Review (HMR) program. The main change to the program in 2014 was the requirement of a minimum two year interval between reviews to be conducted for a particular patient. This change has come following the increased uptake of [Read More…]

Rural community pharmacies filling the gaps in health care

Rural community pharmacies

The Pharmacy Guild of Australia (PGA) has released a video which outlines how regional, rural and remote community pharmacies provide excellence in healthcare. It also emphasizes the significant contributions of the community pharmacies in these regions. Pharmacists from Bundaberg, Bathurst, Maryborough, Gympie and Broken Hill have responded to the needs of their communities, and have [Read More…]

Doctors accuse pharmacists of planning to “plunder primary care” with 6th Community Pharmacy Agreement

6th Community Pharmacy Agreement

The Pharmacy Guild of Australia has made no secret that one of the objectives for the 6th Community Pharmacy Agreement (6CPA) is for pharmacies to step up and provide a broader array of health services to their patients. The Australian Medical Association (AMA) has hit back at the Guild proposing that pharmacies provide government funded [Read More…]

Australian HealthFusion Team Challenge 2014….. and the winners are….

Team UQ

A couple of months ago I was asked to be the Master of Ceremonies at the Australian HealthFusion Team Challenge. Being offered such a great opportunity is a bit of a privilege, and although I was keen to take part in the day, I was also a bit daunted as it is such a full [Read More…]

Call for real-time recording on all benzodiazepines and opioids

benzodiazepines real time reporting

The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA) has recently published two media released about opioids and benzodiazepines and the need for real-time reporting. The first was Pharmacists hail NSW Coroner’s call for real-time recording; calls on Health Minister to act and the second was Opioid report highlights urgency for real-time recording. The NSW Deputy State Coroner [Read More…]

4 different career paths from recent pharmacy graduates

career paths for pharmacists

Earlier this month we published an article from 2012 pharmacy graduate Rita about things that pharmacy students need to consider when choosing an internship. Rita has also pointed out a video that was put together by some of her classmates, where they talk about what they’ve been doing professionally since graduating as pharmacists. In the [Read More…]

Treating Macular Degeneration – could injections replaced with drops?

Eye drops for macular degeneration

How would you feel about having to see an eye specialist to have injections in your eye on a regular basis in an effort to save your central vision? I’m sure it’s not pleasant. As an optometrist, I have more patients that I can count having injections every 4 to 12 weeks to help resolve [Read More…]

Fifty Shades of Pharmacy Grey: things future intern pharmacists must know – by a 2013 intern

Things intern pharmacists must know

“There was a very interesting Catch 22 situation that unfolded in fourth year pharmacy. They taught us a subject called Integrated Dispensing, where we were severely punished for overlooking the pettiest of details. As the funny saying taught to me by my first ever pharmacist manager went: “crooked sticker –crooked pharmacist”. So here’s a scenario. [Read More…]

Would you have a “health check” in the aisle at Woolworths?

Woolworths 1

Woolworths is set to rollout “health checks” in its stores. The checks are to be carried out by pharmacy students, graduate pharmacists and nurses. So far it has been trialled in six stores in New South Wales and Queensland. And yes, we are talking about blood pressure and cholesterol checks in the aisle at your [Read More…]

Motivational Interviewing for pharmacists – a brief look at ‘styles’ and ‘skills’ of effective communication

Anthony Tassone Pharmacist

My Health Career is pleased to present a second guest article from the Pharmacy Guild of Australia’s Victorian President Anthony Tassone on the topic of communications skills for pharmacists. Anthony is currently an Advisory Board member of Pfizer and Reckitt Benkiser, and is a Professional performance Panel Member at the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency. [Read More…]

Tamsulosin and other alpha-1 adrenergic receptor antagonists may cause eye surgery complications

alpha-1 adrenergic receptor antagonists floppy iris

This week I went to a continuing education event for optometrists where one of the speakers, ophthalmologist Dr Joshua Hann showed images of complications encountered during cataract surgery due to the patient having a floppy iris. And let me tell you, it wasn’t pretty. He mentioned that alpha-1 adrenergic receptor antagonists were the cause, and [Read More…]

Attempt to attack to pharmacists pay and conditions slammed

Pharmacist pay

Recently we published an article about a prediction from the Pharmacy Guild of Australia that around 9,000 community pharmacy jobs would be lost in the 12 months to April 2015. Professional Pharmacists Australia (PPA) has slammed the Pharmacy Guild of Australia for advocating for the removal of penalty rates and minimum shift provisions as a [Read More…]

69% of pharmacies to reduce staff hours by April 2015 – almost 9,000 job losses predicted

Pharmacy job losses predicted

The Pharmacy Guild of Australia has released a prediction that there will be almost 9,000 job losses in pharmacies across the country in the 12 months to April 2015. This is on top of the 3,200 job losses in pharmacy in the last 12 months. Amongst those predicted to lose their jobs are 2,229 pharmacists [Read More…]

How much do you know about palliative care – really?

National Palliative Care Week

Palliative Care Australia is conducting the National Palliative Care Week between Sunday 25 May, 2014 and Saturday 31 May, 2014 to raise awareness about this growing sector of the health industry. The theme for this year is Palliative Care Everyone’s Business: Let’s Work Together. Palliative Care Australia is inviting everyone, from doctors to specialists, nurses [Read More…]

How will the federal budget affect health professions?

federal health budget 2014-2015

The federal government handed down its 2014-2015 budget on Tuesday 13th May 2014. Click here for the expense measures for health. The government intends for budget savings from health to be diverted to the Medical Research Future Fund to help keep Australia at the forefront of the medical research sector. The budget has not been [Read More…]

Victorian Guild President Anthony Tassone – essential communication skills for pharmacists

Anthony Tassone Pharmacist

My Health Career is pleased to present a guest article from the Pharmacy Guild of Australia’s Victorian President Anthony Tassone on the topic of communications skills for pharmacists. Anthony is currently an Advisory Board member of Pfizer and Reckitt Benkiser, and is a Professional performance Panel Member at the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency. He [Read More…]

Cleaning up community pharmacy – and we don’t mean with soap!!

Clean up pharmacy

Professional Pharmacists Australia (PPA) has launched a campaign Clean Up Pharmacy in an effort to stamp out questionable practices that are alleged to be occurring in community pharmacies in Australia. PPA President Dr Geoff March has said that programs such as Home Medicines Reviews and Medschecks are of concern, as well as the underpayment of [Read More…]

Health Fusion Team Challenge registration open to uni students

Health industry report

University students studying a health degree in an Australian university are now able to register a team for the 2014 HealthFusion Team Challenge (HFTC). The HFTC is an award winning program aimed at educating students from different disciplines in the area of collaborative patient care. There are 4 basic steps to being involved in the [Read More…]

Australian pharmacy workforce in focus

Pharmacy workforce Australia

Health Workforce Australia released a document in its Australia’s Health Workforce Series in March 2014 – “Pharmacists in Focus.” It states that pharmacy graduate numbers have generally increased year on year from 2008 to 2012, peaking at 1,914 in 2012. While the report does say that it does not yet have data on workforce exits, [Read More…]

Flu vaccination trial starting soon in Queensland pharmacies

Pharmacy vaccines

It’s been about a week since the debate about whether pharmacists should be able to administer vaccines has flared up. With the pilot trial in Queensland due to begin in flu season, this won’t be the last you will be hearing about this issue! The Queensland Pharmacist Immunisation Pilot (QPIP) will begin in the 2014 [Read More…]

Advertising guidelines for health professionals changed… just waiting on official AHPRA documentation

AHPRA Action

AHPRA Action, a campaign led by Melbourne surgeon Dr Jill Tomlinson, to have the Guidelines for Advertising Regulated Health Services changed, has had some success, but is still looking for the guidelines document to be changed. The part of the guidelines in question is in section 6.2.3, where it states that: A practitioner must take [Read More…]

Want to fly to the Northern Territory to inspire the next generation of health practitioners?

NT Rural High School Visits

The Northern Territory Medicare Local is now taking applications for university health students to fly to the Northern Territory to connect with high school students to promote health careers. Participating uni students will have the opportunity to present workshops to high school students to demonstrate the challenges and rewards of health careers, and also share [Read More…]

Google Glass in Pharmacy – by Cathie Reid

Cathie Reid google glass

“I was absolutely thrilled to be offered the opportunity to become a Glass Explorer late in 2013. As a long term lover and early adopter of tech gadgets of all description, I had been fascinated by Glass ever since I first heard about it. The concept of information available literally right before your eyes intrigued [Read More…]

Price disclosure in pharmacy – why all the fuss?

pharmacy price disclosure

Australia’s price disclosure policy was introduced in 2007. It was an attempt at cutting costs, so that consumers in Australia would pay fair prices for pharmaceuticals. However, a recent report by the Grattan Institute has found that Australia has a long way to go before consumers pay fair prices, with our prices on some drugs [Read More…]

A hospital pharmacist hits the wards

Matt pharmacist Peninsula Health

My Health Career is pleased to present a guest blog post from Matt, a hospital pharmacist at the Frankston Hospital, which is part of the Peninsula Health organisation. Peninsula Health has expanded the Mornington Centre, and are taking applications for 60 new jobs in health care. “Monday. Most people’s most hated day of the week. [Read More…]

Gold Coast Pharmacist Support & Discussion Forum launched

Gold Coast Pharmacist Support and Discussion Forum

The inaugural Gold Coast Pharmacist Support and Discussion Forum was launched on Wednesday 27th November by Clinical Consultant Pharmacist, Joyce McSwan. This forum brought together 30 representatives from different streams of the pharmacy industry ranging from hospital pharmacists, to community pharmacists, clinical consultant pharmacists to academia, early career pharmacists to regional directors. It was an [Read More…]

Pharmacy – National Student Business Plan Competition


Not long after the dust settled on the Pharmacy Guild of Australia’s 2013 National Student Business Plan Competition (NSBPC), the Guild has launched the competition for 2014. Created in 2006, the competition is for pharmacy students who want to learn more about business management, and put forward innovative ideas that they may use as the [Read More…]

Pharmacies: the primary place of complementary medicines purchases

Pharmacy vitamins and supplements

According to a market survey conducted by Roy Morgan in 2012, Australians generally buy their vitamins and dietary supplements (complementary medicines) from pharmacies rather than getting them from a supermarket or a health food store. A total of more than 7.8 million Australians bought vitamins, minerals and supplements for the last six months, which is [Read More…]

Fears for the future of community pharmacies in Australia

Rally to save pharmacy

Community pharmacy in Australia is facing yet another battle. This time it is over the federal government’s decision to further accelerate the price disclosure process for Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) medicines. The Pharmacy Guild of Australia was quick to issue a media release on 2nd August 2013, stating that reducing the price disclosure cycle from [Read More…]

A consumer driven approach to community pharmacy

Pharmacy - a consumer driven approach

In July I attended the Primary Health Care Research Institute Service (PHC RIS) conference. One of the posters presented at the conference was called “A consumer driven approach to community pharmacy.” The research was done to better understand views on consumer needs, expectations and experiences of community pharmacy. The key findings of the study were [Read More…]

Will you be seeing a pharmacist for your vaccinations in the future?

Pharmacy vaccination

Pharmacists administering vaccinations has been one of the hot topics in pharmacy in Australia in 2013, but in fact, this has been on the table for quite some time. As it stands, pharmacists are unable to administer vaccinations, but nurse practitioners have been administering vaccinations in some pharmacies in Australia. Here is a timeline summarizing [Read More…]

Pharmacy – are there jobs out there for pharmacists?

Pharmacy jobs

Okay, strap yourselves in!! This article is going to go into quite a bit of detail about some of the driving forces behind the labour market in pharmacy in Australia….   1. University places In Australia in 1985 there were 338 pharmacy graduates, and in 2007 there were 1,427. In 2002, there were only 6 [Read More…]

The role of a primary care pharmacist

Primary care pharmacist

Chris Freeman is a Brisbane-based pharmacist who works in a non-dispensing role. Non-dispensing means that he doesn’t supply patients with medications, which is usually done in a community pharmacy shop-front or hospital pharmacy setting. Chris works in a general practice (GP) clinic which has 16 full and part time GPs, as well as nursing and [Read More…]

Is this the end of the Home Medicines Review saga?

Pharmacy - Home Medicines Reviews part 2

Following on from last month’s article (Home Medicines Reviews – why have these been a hot topic in pharmacy?), the saga continued into late March. There were rumours that the remuneration for Home Medicines Reviews (HMRs) was recommended to be cut, as the program was reportedly $4.2 million over budget in January 2013. Pharmaceutical Society [Read More…]

Home Medicines Reviews – why have these been a hot topic in pharmacy?

Home Medicines Reviews

Okay….. so before we go into all the recent controversy that has surrounded the Home Medicines Review (HMR) program, let’s talk about what this scheme is all about…….. Basically, a Home Medicines Review is what takes place when a general practitioner (GP) identifies that a patient might need a review to ensure that they have [Read More…]

ignite – early career pharmacist leadership program

PSA ignite

The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA) is taking applications for ignite, the new leadership program for early career pharmacists. The aim of the program is to develop future leaders in the profession who will drive strategy, change and innovation. The ignite program is made up of personal mentoring, interactive workshops, distance learning, listening to inspirational [Read More…]

How to become a pharmacist

Become a pharmacist

How to become a pharmacist…… the Accreditation Standards were published by the Australian Pharmacy Council in 2009, and The National Competency Standards Framework for Pharmacists in Australia was released in 2010. And wow…. talk about in-depth documents!! It’s probably easiest if you check them out yourself, but let’s talk about some of the more interesting [Read More…]

Medication reconciliation by pharmacists…… huh?

Pharmacy medicine reconciliation

The Society of Hospital Pharmacists of Australia (SHPA) has released a fact sheet about how pharmacists help in the process called medication reconciliation. Basically medication reconciliation is the process of obtaining and verifying a complete and accurate list of a patient’s current medications. The medicines the patient should be prescribed are matched up with those [Read More…]

Hospital pharmacists – what do they do?

Pharmacy - hosp pharm

Pharmacists who work in a hospital have a very active role in patient care. They ensure that patients are taking the most appropriate medications, and that these are being used in the most effective way. This means that they are working closely alongside doctors, nurses and other health professionals, giving advice on how and when [Read More…]

Pharmacy profession entering a new era

Pharmacy a new era

It looks as though the pharmacy profession is on the cusp of entering a new era of health care on a global scale…..   The World Congress of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences was held from October 3-8 in Amsterdam. It was run by the International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP).  The theme was ‘Improving health through responsible [Read More…]

Pharmacy vs supermarket

Supermarket vs pharmacy

In April 2012 A Current Affair ran a story called ‘The Drug Price War’. It was about supermarkets stocking common medications like cold and flu tablets. You can watch the video here: http://aca.ninemsn.com.au/article.aspx?id=8452304   Geraldine Moses, who is the Consultant Drug Information Pharmacist at the Mater Health Services in Brisbane, commented on the differences in [Read More…]

The Olympics – a Great Time To Talk Banned Substances!!

Pharmacy - banned substances for athletes

Elite athletes can face serious consequences if banned substances are taken inadvertently. The president of the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia, Grant Kardachi, says that the Olympics is a great time to remind pharmacists to be vigilant in checking the medications they are dispensing to elite athletes. Click on the link to read some stories from [Read More…]