The community campaign to save the pharmacy at cohealth Collingwood – part of a vital integrated health service – has paid off with Federal Minister for Health, Susan Ley this week approving an application for the pharmacy to operate as a community pharmacy within the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS).
Following the removal of funding to the cohealth pharmacy in last year’s federal budget, the grassroots campaign has continued to highlight the importance of this vital service to the local community. This is particularly so for the many individuals on low incomes and experiencing complex/chronic health issues who rely on it to access affordable medication and integrated care to remain living in their homes.
Integrated Pharmacy Services Collingwood (IPSC), an independent likeminded not for profit organisation who shares cohealth values and commitment to social justice, will operate the community pharmacy at cohealth Collingwood and support the continued delivery of its services as part of the integrated health care model that’s been running at this location for more than 20 years.
cohealth Chief Executive, Lyn Morgain, and IPSC’s Director, John Jackson commended Minister Ley on her decision to approve the PBS application.
“On behalf of our clients and partner organisations who have stood for ongoing operation of the pharmacy at cohealth Collingwood, I thank Minister Ley for approving the application, enabling IPSC to continue delivering quality medication services to the community”, said Ms Morgain. She emphasised that the cohealth integrated pharmacy model is recognised as best practice and proven to lead to better health outcomes for clients.
John Jackson said “I too thank the Minister and am delighted the IPSC application has been approved, enabling the community to continue to receive the services and support they have always accessed through this pharmacy as part of the integrated health service at cohealth Collingwood. It is very exciting that the Collingwood integrated pharmacy model, where the pharmacist plays a key role in the broader health care team, can be sustained and may have an opportunity to be developed further through the Pharmacy Trials Program recently announced by the Federal Government.”
cohealth clients are also welcoming the news, “This means everything, not just to me and my family but to the community in Collingwood. This means that this unique and comprehensive community health service can continue to be relied on by so many people, who without it would be struggling to have the quality of life they currently have”, said Robyn Williams, long term client of cohealth at Collingwood.