Government Expands Role Of Pharmacies In Health Care

25 November 2015

The Andrews Labor Government is supporting community pharmacies to offer a greater range of health services and more support to individuals and families.

Minister for Health, Jill Hennessy, today announced tenders to deliver the Government’s Super Pharmacies Initiative are now open, which will see the delivery of five, 24-hour, 7-day-a-week pharmacies by June 2016.

The Labor Government has committed $28.7 million to deliver 20, 24/7 pharmacies by 2018 under the Super Pharmacies Initiative. This will see pharmacies offer round-the-clock services, with a nurse present between 6pm and 10pm daily to provide basic care, face-to-face advice and treatment for minor injury and illness.

The Government recognises community pharmacies have a trusted role in the healthcare system at a local level and are well placed to accommodate additional assessment and treatment services in a safe environment.

This service will not replace doctors or the need to visit an emergency department if people need a higher level of care. Nurses will assist with non-urgent matters and in the early detection of health concerns.

This service will help ease the pressure on hospital staff - allowing doctors and nurses to concentrate on treating the sickest patients presenting in hospital emergency departments.

Ms Hennessy also announced two new initiatives that will see pharmacists deliver flu and adult whooping cough vaccinations and manage patients with chronic diseases, in partnership with GPs.

From next year, healthy adults across Victoria will be able to receive the flu vaccination from their local pharmacist, while the delivery of whooping cough vaccinations for eligible adults by pharmacists will commence in 2017.

Eligible adults will be able to access vaccines under the National Immunisation Program and Victorian Government’s Parent Whooping Cough Vaccine Program from their pharmacist. Nurses working under the Government’s Super Pharmacies Initiative will also be able to deliver flu and whooping cough vaccinations.

The two-year Pharmacist Chronic Disease Management pilot program will see pharmacists and GPs work closely together to help patients manage their chronic illnesses and medications. Currently, more than half of all visits to GPs involve the management of at least one chronic condition.

The pilot, to run in three locations, will mean eligible patients will be able to visit their local pharmacist to monitor their conditions and manage medications, under the direction of a GP’s care plan.

There are more than 1,300 community pharmacies in Victoria. More than 87 per cent of people live within 2.5km of at least one pharmacy, and people visit a pharmacy on average 14 times a year.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Health, Jill Hennessy

"The Andrews Labor Government understands that pharmacists are trusted health care professionals and that pharmacies can provide a greater range of health services."

"Our new initiatives will expand the role of pharmacists to give families a new option to access convenient and timely health care, when they need it most, closer to home."

"Using the skills of highly trained pharmacists to deliver primary care has the potential to support growing demands on our aged care facilities and our hospitals."

Reviewed 10 February 2021

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