Victorian Labor has promised to support 20 pharmacies to become 24/7 Super Pharmacies if it is elected on the weekend.
An Andrews Labor Government would fund pharmacies to stay open 24 hours a day and provide night nurses for on-the-spot medical advice between 6pm and 10pm, after most pharmacies and GP clinics close, the ALP Victoria says.
As part of a $28.7 million plan to help families, shift workers and others in need of non-emergency care, the Super Pharmacies would number 15 in Melbourne with five more across regional Victoria.
This would reduce pressure on emergency departments: more than half of those who attend hospital emergency departments in Victoria are category 4 and 5 patients, many of whom could receive care without attending a hospital.
The night nurses would provide face-to-face advice on symptoms in a similar way to the existing Nurse-On-Call service over the phone. They may also offer services such as wound care, blood pressure checks, immunisation and advice on referrals.
Consultation would also occur in appropriately private facilities within the community pharmacies, and people would be seen on a “first come, first served” basis.
“My wife and I know the feeling – one of the kids has a nasty bug or you’ve run out of Ventolin, but everything’s shut and we don’t know what to do,” says Opposition Leader Daniel Andrews.
“Right now, families only have two choices: race to a hospital or stay home and ride it out. Labor’s 24/7 Super Pharmacies gives families a sensible new option.
“This will take pressure off our overcrowded emergency departments, so doctors can treat the sickest patients more quickly.”