Page 4659 - Week 12 - Thursday, 1 November 2018

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MS FITZHARRIS: I did note that and I have noted publicly and also directly with pharmacy staff themselves that this is indeed not optimal and it is not ideal at all and that I expect to see improvements in this area. Some of those improvements have come from ACT Health, Canberra Health Services and pharmacy staff working collaboratively on a range of important work to address a number of these issues. Some of those have been addressed through the enterprise bargaining round.

These include making sure that there are pay rates competitive with other jurisdictions and indeed other jurisdictions in the ACT, principally the Therapeutic Goods Administration as well, and also to look at the banding of health professional classifications, including options within pharmacy, Canberra Health Services and as part of broader ACT government work.

What I have asked the new CEO of Canberra Health Services to do is work with pharmacists and, as was reported, and Mr Parton noted in his question earlier in the week, I have been pleased to see progress on this matter. But that does not stop now. It will continue, and I look forward to welcoming even more pharmacists into Canberra Health Services.

MR HANSON: Minister, what are the levels of risk or delay in scripts being filled when there is a high churn in hospital pharmacists, resulting in mistakes in the filling of scripts for patients?

MS FITZHARRIS: In the majority of instances where people have left, those positions have been filled. I understand that there are still some positions to be filled, and I believe that the agreements that we have reached now and the work that is underway within Canberra Health Services will continue to support pharmacists and I expect to see that improve over the next six to 12 months. It is certainly the case that there is risk in any pharmacy delivery within a hospital. I will take the specifics of Mr Hanson’s question on notice.

MRS DUNNE: Minister, what concerns do pharmacy staff have about the Canberra Hospital that are contributing to this high level of churn?

MS FITZHARRIS: I refer to the matters I raised earlier. They include issues around career progression and wages. I think they were principally the issues. And also, of course, working in a very busy hospital environment. We are looking to work very closely with pharmacy staff to make sure they are supported.


MR PARTON: Madam Speaker, my question is to the Minister for Housing and Suburban Development. I refer to an article by a good friend of all of us, former Chief Minister Jon Stanhope, in the CityNews of 1 November 2018—I note the nod from the minister—regarding Community Housing Canberra, CHC. Mr Stanhope wrote:

… the ACT Greens/Labor government called in the $50 million revolving finance facility … and cancelled the MOU guaranteeing CHC access to land.

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