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PBS Changes Push Regional Health to Brink

Federal Member for Capricornia, Michelle Landry, visited local pharmacists to hear first-hand the devastating impact Labor’s change to the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) dispensing legislation will have on rural and regional pharmacies across the electorate.

Labor’s changes to the PBS to allow 60-day dispensing instead of 30 will risk a medicine supply shortage in country pharmacies right across country Australia.

Ms Landry, Federal Member for Capricornia, said Labor’s policy to extend dispensing to 60 days is poorly planned and rushed through.

“We have been listening to the industry and speaking with pharmacists from all over Australia, who have told us they are going to have to begin stockpiling medication. This is a near impossible task with an unreliable supply chain.

“The changes will bring further medicine supply shortages and place country pharmacists at risk of closing, leaving many without access to lifesaving medications.

“Pharmacists are genuinely concerned that regional and remote communities will miss out. The financial burden on these small businesses will be so great they will force many to reduce their trading hours or close,” Ms Landry said.

This latest announcement from the Albanese Government to change dispensing legislation is another policy that is set to see further regional health failures.

The Labor Government have failed to truly listen to the needs of regional and remote Australians, after they changed designated priority areas to allow foreign doctors to work in peri-urban areas near capital cities, rather than just remote areas.

This change has made it even harder to find a GP in a regional, rural or remote area.

Medicare funded psychology consultations have been cut by half, from 20 consultations to 10.

These cuts couldn’t come at a worse time when Australian’s are struggling to keep up with the rising cost of living under a government with no direction or plan.

“Health access in the regions has been neglected through Labor’s failure to deal with shortages in medical professionals and cuts to Medicare funded services. Changes to the PBS is pushing regional, rural and remote health even further to the brink of collapse.

“I wish to make it clear that we are not against cheaper medication, however when you’re at the end of the supply chain, particularly those living in the regions, there will be regional Australians who miss out.

“Local pharmacists are quite often the only form of medical care in regional communities. The extra pressure faced by pharmacists may leave many Australians without any access to a health service,” Ms Landry said.

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