SHPA welcomes investment in next generation of leading Victorian pharmacists

The Society of Hospital Pharmacists of Australia (SHPA) has welcomed the Victorian Department of Health’s decision to extend the successful Victorian Hospital Pharmacy Intern Program, including an expansion from 80 to 100 placements in 2021, providing more opportunities for the best and brightest young pharmacists to make their mark in the hospital setting across the state.

The three-year extension of the partnership with the SHPA and commitment to increase funding for additional positions was included in the 2017/18 Victorian Budget, passed down on Tuesday 1 May 2018.

SHPA Chief Executive Kristin Michaels says the decision sends a strong message to the state’s budding pharmacists.

‘Recent research tells us that, across Australia, almost half of all pharmacy students would like to progress to the challenging and complex hospital setting, despite hospitals being home to one-fifth of the country’s overall pharmacy workforce.

‘With demand strong, and the government’s Allied Health Report recommending renewed commitment to experiential learning via rigorous intern matching programs, SHPA is pleased to continue facilitating these opportunities through our Victorian Branch.’

Ms Michaels says the funding commitment is a positive vote of confidence in the process that supports fourth-year students to find their feet in hospital pharmacy, across more than 20 metropolitan and regional hospitals and healthcare services.

‘Through the program SHPA will continue to efficiently, transparently and fairly manage the intake process and match candidates for internship to hospitals with intern positions, allowing students to make the most of their pivotal intern year.

‘Hospital pharmacy training sharpens essential skills that are applicable to any final practice setting, ensuring this welcome funding commitment benefits our next generation of pharmacists regardless of where and how they provide patient care.’

Future hospital pharmacists can start their intern journey by attending the SHPA Hospital Pharmacy Intern Information Night, 6.30–9.00pm, Wednesday 30 May at Collingwood Town Hall, Melbourne.  

View more on the 2018 Victorian Hospital Pharmacy Intern Program.

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