Call For More Supercare Pharmacies In Victoria

08 February 2017

Victoria's first five 24-hour community Supercare Pharmacies have helped thousands of people get the care and advice they need from pharmacists late at night in just the first seven months – and with seven more on track to open mid this year, this number will only continue to grow.

Minister for Health Jill Hennessy today called for tenders for the next seven Supercare Pharmacies which will open 24-hours-a-day, every day, with a nurse on site from 6pm to 10pm.

With increasing patient numbers, the Andrews Labor Government is also providing an additional $25.7 million to further support the initiative that will open 20 Supercare Pharmacies across Victoria, delivering on a key election promise.

Last July, the first five Supercare Pharmacies opened round-the-clock in Ascot Vale, Craigieburn, Wantirna South, Yarraville and Ballarat. Since then, more than 30,000 visits have been made at these pharmacies between 10pm and 7am, with patient numbers growing every month.

Families now have another option instead of a late night dash to emergency with more than a quarter of people saying they would have gone to hospital had it not been for their new Supercare Pharmacy.

Supercare Pharmacies also played an important role during the unprecedented thunderstorm asthma event late last year, with a surge in demand after hours more than three times greater than usual attendances on the evening of 21 November.

People were given Ventolin and other asthma medications, preventing many from having to go to a busy hospital emergency department.

Supercare Pharmacies provide round-the-clock access to pharmacists for advice, supply of medicines and dispensing prescriptions. The 6pm to 10pm nurse provides face-to-face health advice and treatment for minor injuries or illness.

The free nursing service also assists with wound management, physical assessment, flu and whooping cough immunisations, health screening, sexual health advice and referrals to other services. These nurses have provided more than 1,700 episodes of care across the five sites since August.

Supercare Pharmacies do not replace doctors or the need to visit an emergency department. The next seven Supercare Pharmacies are expected to open in mid-2017, with the remaining eight to open in 2018.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Health Jill Hennessy

"Supercare Pharmacies give families another option and the peace of mind of knowing round-the-clock care is on hand, close to home."

“We saw during the unprecedented thunderstorm asthma event just how important is was for people to be able to access urgently needed medications and care close to home and at all hours of the day and night.”

"We are now looking for more pharmacies to open all day, every day to help families and people like shift workers who need non-emergency care and medicines after hours."

Reviewed 19 August 2020

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