Boost for regional pharmacies
I recently announced changes to the Regional Pharmacy Maintenance Allowance (RPMA) program, which will assist community pharmacies in maintaining access to medicines and healthcare services.
Pharmacies across the Parkes electorate, including in Dubbo, Coonabarabran and Wilcannia, are among more than 400 additional pharmacies which are now eligible to apply for the allowance.
During a recent visit to Dubbo, I met with Simon Blacker and Lisa Gibson from Orana Mall Pharmacy to discuss how these changes will benefit them.
Community pharmacies play a vital role delivering medicines and essential health services for the third of Australians who live in regional, rural and remote areas.
They continue to do a tremendous job supporting the health and wellbeing of regional patients and this is certainly evident during natural disasters and the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Government recognises the importance of maintaining the pharmacy network to provide a steady and reliable supply of medicines and other pharmacy services, in particular to people in the regions.
The Coalition Government boosted its investment in the RPMA program from $16 million per year to $21 million per year under the 7th Community Pharmacy Agreement, which was signed with the Pharmacy Guild of Australia in June 2020.
Call for more people to become organ donors
Australians from all walks of life faced great challenges and adversity in 2020 as a result of COVID-19, and new data has revealed that those waiting for life-changing organ transplants were no different.
Last year saw a 12 per cent reduction in the number of people receiving a transplant and a 16 per cent decrease in organ donors, compared to 2019.
Most significantly, 18 per cent fewer kidney transplants were performed, resulting in 153 fewer renal patients receiving the kidney transplant they need.
This is why I am encouraging everyone in the Parkes electorate to have that conversation about organ donation with their loved ones.
Talking to your family about your decision has a direct influence on consent rates and the best chance we have to address the challenge of a longer waitlist is for more Australians say ‘yes’ to donation.
To register to become a donor or to double-check your registration, visit: donatelife.gov.au
Parliament resumes for 2021
It was great to be back at Parliament for the first sitting week of 2021.
This year we have plenty of challenges ahead but I look forward to working with my Coalition colleagues as we continue the fight against COVID-19 and cement our economic recovery to create more jobs.
One of my biggest priorities this year will be the COVID-19 vaccine rollout and ensuring all Australians have access to the vaccination, regardless of where they live.
I am also committed to continuing to boost our regions, ensuring people across the country have access to appropriate health services and telecommunications. Encouraging more doctors to move out to the bush also remains one of my greatest concerns.
2021 is also an exciting year as construction on the Narrabri to North Star section of the Inland Rail ramps up, creating jobs and plenty of opportunities for people in the Parkes electorate.
As always, it is an honour to represent the Parkes electorate and I look forward to continuing to advocate on behalf of my constituents.