Press release 27 March 2012:Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services and the Pharmacy Guild continue to Close the Gap in access to medicines

 A continued robust partnership between the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO) and The Pharmacy Guild of Australia will see vast improvements in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders getting the prescription medicines they need, along with tailored advice and assistance

 At a national joint QUMAX and S100 forum in Melbourne this week over 250 delegates discussed the need to integrate three vital programs that support medicines access and quality use of medicines for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population.

 Justin Mohamed, the Chair of NACCHO said that all delegates supported the three programs as working well within their services and providing substantial benefits to the Aboriginal community nationwide. The three programs being the  section 100 supply and support programs for remote area Aboriginal health services, the QUMAX program for non-remote Aboriginal Community Controlled Health services, and the closing the gap PBS co-payment relief measure.

 “This forum proved that the networking of Aboriginal health services with prescribers, pharmacies and allied health professionals will produce outcomes to progress the continued improvement of these programs towards quality use of medicines for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and that will be one more step to Close the Gap” Mr Mohamed said.

  “These programs are an example of a true partnership to Close the Gap. It demonstrates the significant impact that Aboriginal Community Controlled Health services can make in improving Aboriginal people’s access to health care, in partnership with industry and Government. If access to medicines is improved, then chronic disease can be reduced, and we can start to see some improvements in Aboriginal people’s life expectancy.”

 “To close the gap we need to also help those patients who are the most needy and hard to reach. Our member services are able to do that because our services know the community and they are run by the community, for the community,” Mr Mohamed said.