Corporatisation of Community Pharmacy and the Constitutional Prohibition of Civil Conscription for Medical Service Providers
This article examines recommendations from the Harper Competition Review recommending the opening up to corporate ownership of the community pharmacy sector in Australia. After studying the outcomes of similar proposals in other nations it examines whether s51 xxiiiA of the Australian Constitution provides a prohibition against such a reduction of the small business option for those pharmacists wishing to develop a pharmacy business in Australia. An analysis of the services provided by community pharmacists finds that services such as the provision of advice on the safe and efficacious use of medicine, the prescribing and administering of vaccinations, the treatment of minor wounds and ailments, the provision of pharmacist-only medicines, diabetes education form part of the core function of community pharmacists. Given that these services are fundamentally medical in nature, in their current role, community pharmacists as Commonwealth-regulated medical service providers for the purposes of s 51xxiiiA are thereby protected against Commonwealth policy or legislation facilitating civil conscription.