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AUSTRALIAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION (WA)
The decision by a major healthcare company to cancel its plan to be involved in pharmacy-based screening programs was due in a major way to a push against the move by the Australian Medical Association (WA).
“It is clear that the withdrawal by Sonic from the Amcal Pharmacy screening program is the result of concerns raised by many in the medical community, in particular the AMA. This matter was recently raised by the AMA (WA) Council a few days ago when a motion was passed condemning the plan,” AMA (WA) President Dr Khorshid said.
“Sonic was aware of our strong opposition to the plan and has made the correct decision in withdrawing,” Dr Khorshid added.
“When this matter was discussed it was pointed out by one AMA (WA) Councillor that pharmacists have customers, while General Practitioners have patients.
“GPs are concerned about the general health of their patients, and while pharmacists have a role to play in health management, they are not doctors.
“The Australian system of health care is based on the continuity of care. Allowing this to be fragmented by non-medical health professionals is dangerous and irresponsible.”
“It not only puts the health of patients at risk, but increases the costs of health care for all involved.”
“The pharmacy screening tests can cost between $25 and $220, with no rebate under the Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) for the patient.
“GPs are best placed to make decision about tests generally and to manage the outcomes of those tests. Tests are ordered by GPs based on medical need, based on evidence and cost effectiveness,” he said.
“We will continue to fight against this proposal, even if pharmacies find another pathology service provider or other steps are taken by pharmacists to enter the health care realm,” Dr Khorshid said.