The Pharmacy Guild of Australia has welcomed the Skilled Migration Program being included as part of the re-opening of the country’s borders on 1 December this year.
Now, following the announcement that borders are reopening for some including skilled migrants, the National President of the Pharmacy Guild, Trent Twomey, has said the program is an important step in helping to address serious workforce shortages in a number of occupations across Australia.
“One occupation which has been feeling the effects of a lack of skilled and qualified people is community pharmacy,” Mr Twomey said.
“Community pharmacies are currently struggling with workforce shortages and workforce distribution inequities.
“These issues compound the challenges that community pharmacies face in providing services, especially to regional rural and remote populations.
“These tend to have high rates of chronic disease, lower health literacy and socioeconomic status and therefore are in greater need of more healthcare support.
“In many of these regional, rural and remote areas of Australia the workforce shortage has been acute at times.
“The Guild advocated strongly and successfully to have pharmacists returned to the Priority Migration Skilled Occupation List to help fill workforce gaps.
“The additional workforce achieved through skilled migration will contribute to ensuring that community pharmacies can continue to provide quality primary healthcare to the community, especially during the pandemic.
“The announcement today regarding the opening of borders is good news for this sector and for all patients.”
Mr Twomey said internationally trained pharmacists, or locally trained overseas graduates, will be required to complete the Pharmacy Board of Australia’s registration requirements including a period of 1824 hours of supervised practice.