69% of pharmacies to reduce staff hours by April 2015 – almost 9,000 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 and 4,400 pharmacy assistants. This would impact approximately 10% of the pharmacists working in community pharmacies in Australia.

According to the Employment Expectations Report (818kB PDF), a national survey undertaken by the Guild, had responses from 944 pharmacies, which is 17.6% of the total number of pharmacies in Australia. Of the employment intentions obtained, 24.9% were from rural areas and from 20% of Australia’s 425 single pharmacy town pharmacies responded.

Other statistics in the Employment Expectations Report are that in the next year:

  • Less than 3.3% of pharmacies are intending to increase staff numbers
  • Over half of pharmacies will be reducing pharmacist hours
  • Over two thirds of pharmacies will be reducing pharmacy assistant hours
  • The largest number of pharmacy jobs expected to be lost are in New South Wales (755), Victoria (525) and Queensland (443)
  • The largest number of pharmacy assistant jobs expected to be lost are in New South Wales (1,476), Victoria (1,026) and Queensland (880)

The Guild states that while 94% of Australians visit a pharmacy each year, and that there are around 300 million pharmacy visits each year in Australia, it is the price disclosure system that is causing gross profits to fall, resulting in pharmacies being forced to reduce staff to remain viable.

Click here for our article from June 2013 “Pharmacy – are there jobs for pharmacists?”

Image credit:    Cubosh – flickr

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