Positive and Negative Aspects of a Possible Expansion of the Pharmacists’ Scope of Practice to Include the Health Checks in Australia

1476 Words Jun 18th, 2018 6 Pages
The prevalence of chronic diseases globally such as heart disease, diabetes and kidney disease are continuously increasing due to risk factors such as obesity, physical inactivity, poor diets, smoking and excessive alcohol consumption (1). In Australia, this trend is also evident; thus, there is a need for primary health care interventions to prevent these diseases. The Pharmacy guild of Australia (The Guild) has proposed to the government for pharmacies to undertake annual health checks. These health checks would comprise of weight, body mass index, blood pressure, blood glucose, cholesterol and ask about lifestyle factors such as smoking and alcohol consumption. These checks would allow identification of patients at risk of chronic …show more content…
However these services are usually conducted without standardised formal protocols in place such as documentation and referral, they also come at a cost for the patient. Government funded and controlled health checks would benefit patients as utilising the wide network of community pharmacies will not only provide earlier detection and ongoing management of chronic diseases but the service will be readily accessible to all patients including those in rural and more remote regions of Australia thus improving primary health care and outcomes (3).
This type of service is evident in The United States of America, where the government provides free Medicare wellness visits. Any qualified health professional can provide this service including pharmacists (5). These Medicare wellness visits include, routine measurements, such as height, weight, blood pressure, and body mass index (BMI); review of individual medical and family history; review of the medications, supplements, and vitamins that are currently been taking; discussion of care currently receiving from other health care providers; review of functional ability and level of safety (for example, risk of falling at home), including any cognitive impairment, as well as a screening for
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