Local study critical

The Pharmacy Guild has congratulated James Cook University as the institution reports a positive response to its expanded pharmacy program

Last week James Cook University reported that it has seen an increase in Queensland Tertiary Admissions Centre (QTAC) applications for 2021, with 5,695 prospective students selecting it as their first preference. Of these, 3,268 received an offer, with more to come.

JCU’s Provost Professor Chris Cocklin said that health-related courses are in particular demand.

Nursing and physiotherapy are growing and popular, while “We’re also seeing a positive response to the expansion of our Pharmacy program to Cairns and Mackay,” he said.

TropicNow’s Annabel Bowles spoke to Cairns student Daniel White, who is set to study pharmacy.

“As well as working in health, it gives me a secure, long-term career – it’s not a job that’s going to be taken over by a robot,” he said.

The Guild congratulated JCU on its expansion of its Bachelor of Pharmacy (Honours) course to the Queensland regional centres of Cairns and Mackay.

The Guild’s Queensland Branch as well as local community pharmacy groups – Alive Pharmacy Warehouse, Calanna Whole Health Pharmacy, LiveLife Pharmacy and Wholelife Pharmacy and Healthfoods – supported JCU with an advertising campaign to expand the course offering to Cairns and Mackay and continue successfully in Townsville.

Queensland Branch President, and JCU Adjunct Professor, Trent Twomey, said the expansion meant 40 students in Cairns and 13 in Mackay would join the 52 students with offers in Townsville for JCU’s intake into the Bachelor of Pharmacy (Honours) for 2021.

He said that the increase in the number of JCU students studying the course in 2020 was a positive step forward for community pharmacy.

“Congratulations to all of the students that have chosen to study their Bachelor of Pharmacy (Honours) this year at JCU,” he said.

“With 97% of consumers living within 2.5km of their local community pharmacy, and 65% in regional areas, the ability for students to study pharmacy in regional areas is critical.

“We were already seeing an increase in demand for pharmacists and pharmacist assistants ahead of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

“Throughout the response to COVID-19, community pharmacies have again demonstrated their importance in the provision of frontline primary healthcare services.

“This will only continue as the COVID-19 vaccines are rolled out, and likewise, we expect opportunities and jobs within community pharmacies to only increase going forward.”

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