New Victorian Minister for Health

Jenny Mikakos has been appointed as the new Minister for Health in the returned Andrews Labor Government.

Minister for Mental Health Martin Foley was returned and immediately urged ministers to consider improving access to healthcare in Victoria by taking full advantage of the flexible and highly trained pharmacist workforce.

Pharmacy Society of Australia (PSA) Victorian President Benjamin Marchant said, “We congratulate Minister Mikakos on her appointment and look forward to working with her to adopt innovative models of care that make better use of pharmacists’ skills and expertise.

“We will engage with Minister Foley on providing seed funding for a pilot of the shared care model for Medication Assisted Treatment for Opioid Dependence (MATOD) services in Victoria.

“Licit and illicit drug abuse and misuse are a huge concern in the community and existing MATOD services are struggling to meet demand, so we are calling for a more sustainable model.”

Mr Marchant said PSA hopes Minister Foley will consider removing a key barrier to MATOD services by fully funding dispensing and management fees for patients.

He also urged the Government to allow Victorians to access the full range of National Immunisation Program vaccines through pharmacists.

“Pharmacists are the most frequently contacted health professionals in Victoria and have been providing vaccinations since 2016, so there are abundant opportunities for them to do more.” Mr Marchant said.