Sigma Healthcare has announced that it has postponed its Amcal and Guardian conference, which had been scheduled for next week
In a decision that Sigma describes as “prudent” in a statement, the organisation decided to postpone the 2020 Amcal and Guardian Retail Conference, which had been scheduled to be held on the Gold Coast.
The decision was made in order to “limit the potential risk to attendees given the current uncertainty over the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) in Australia,” the organisation said.
“Sigma understands and supports that pharmacists are front-line healthcare providers and it is important they remain in their local communities offering help and support where it will have the most impact.”
Kurt O’Brien, Head of Amcal and Guardian, said that “Our number one concern is the health and safety of our Amcal and Guardian franchise partners, their teams and the communities they serve”.
“Their role in the community is vital and it is important that we minimise potential risk of exposure to and spread of COVID-19 during these challenging times,” he said.
The wholesaler advised that Amcal and Guardian members who planned to attend the conference will be provided with updates of new initiatives directly, as will all member pharmacies.
Sigma also congratulated pharmacies across Australia for their “incredible efforts” in the past six months: first to support the health of their customers during the disastrous bushfire season, and now to support communities at a time of extreme uncertainty due to COVID-19.
“If there is one certainty in these difficult times it is that your local pharmacy will always be on hand to support the community,” Sigma said.
Sigma said it will continue to monitor and consider alternative dates and will provide further updates to members in due course.
At the time of writing on Wednesday, the Pharmacy Guild’s flagship Australian Pharmacy Professional conference is still set to go ahead from Thursday next week.
“In the wake of Coronavirus (COVID-19), APP2020 is going ahead as planned, following the advice of both state and federal health departments,” reads a statement on the conference’s official website.
“Both conference organisers and venue management are taking every step practical to ensure the health and safety of all guests while on site at APP.
“If you are feeling unwell or exhibiting signs of Coronavirus, please do not attend the conference.”