Call to use pharmacy’s sick note service

The NSW Guild has issued a reminder to consumers that pharmacies can offer absence from work certificates

“As flu season draws closer, patients are reminded that not only are they able to receive their yearly influenza vaccination from their local community pharmacy, they are also able to obtain an Absence from Work Certificate from their pharmacist, if they are unable to get to their doctor easily,” the Guild’s NSW Branch announced.

It reminded consumers that pharmacists can now issue these certificates as proof of legitimate absence for their patients.

“Pharmacists are able issue certificates for conditions within their scope of practice, and if the illness or injury falls outside of this they may refer their patient to a doctor or relevant healthcare professional,” the Guild says.

It directs consumers to the Guild’s site.

The announcement follows a spate of mainstream media attacks last month on absence from work certificates issued by pharmacists: Australian Industry Group chief executive said some employers would be “sceptical” of notes obtained in pharmacy.

Chemist Warehouse in particular was singled out for providing the service at $20.

At the time, Pharmacy Guild national president George Tambassis said that “Pharmacists take their responsibilities under the Fair Work Act seriously, and the Guild certainly urges our members to be sure that any certificates that are issued are done so within the strict requirements of the guidelines”.

After the attacks the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia issued a statement highlighting that issuing absence from work certificates is within the scope of practice for pharmacists, though they must adhere to the strict guidelines recognised by Fair Work Australia.

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