The AMA is calling on the Federal Government to legislate to allow doctors to own and operate pharmacies.
AMA President, Dr Andrew Pesce, said today that co-locating pharmacies within, adjacent to, or in close proximity to a general practice - under the ownership of the doctor - would provide significant benefits and convenience to patients.
"Incorporating pharmacy services into general practice would improve patient care by allowing GPs to lead a team of co-located health professionals, including pharmacists and general practice nurses, in providing multidisciplinary health care to patients at the local community level.
"It would allow each health professional to work to their full potential in a well-supported environment.
"Patient care would be integrated and patients would be seen by the right health professional, at the right time, for the right treatment and health care advice.
"The pharmacists would retain the professional responsibility for dispensing medicines.
"Importantly, patient medication management would improve through the close cooperative relationship between the doctor and the pharmacist.
"It is an arrangement that fits within the GP Primary Care Centres proposal that is outlined in the AMA's Priority Investment Plan for Australia's Health System.
"The AMA believes that this proposal should appeal to the Government. We are also confident that it will be an attractive option for individual pharmacists, especially younger pharmacists setting out on their careers," Dr Pesce said.
In order to co-locate services, the current restrictions on pharmacy location and pharmacy ownership need to be lifted to allow ownership by medical practitioners.