Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme – Speech in the House of Representatives 01/06/23
Hansard 01/06/2023 House of Representatives
Mr LLEW O’BRIEN (Wide Bay) (13:54): There aren’t too many businesses in regional Australia that are as relied upon and as trusted as our local pharmacies. They are part of our community, and we trust them with our most sensitive personal information. They really do hold a special place. They provide services to their community motivated by a commitment to its wellbeing. Often those much-needed services are provided at a financial loss. Operating a pharmacy is complex and as unique as the needs of the community it keeps healthy. The Albanese government’s announcement to cut the income of local pharmacies is not only an attack on our community pharmacies; it’s an attack on our regional communities.
My local Tin Can Bay pharmacist told me how the $3.5 billion funding cut to pharmacies undermines his viability and that he will likely not be able to continue the Webster-pak service in its current form, meaning this will ultimately cost his customers more. Others have warned of reduced operating hours on evenings and on weekends, forcing patients to travel long distances to another chemist. But worst of all is that many will likely shut their doors permanently. The Albanese government’s pharmacy cuts will come at a great cost to our nation’s health.