“Pharmacies as primary healthcare hubs”

Female Pharmacist and Female Customer Consult Room Blood Pressure_4

The PSA president has fronted mainstream media to urge the roll-out of Supercare pharmacies nationally, while Chemist Warehouse awaits Victorian results on commercial viability

Australia currently has 12 Supercare Pharmacies, all based in Victoria, with a further eight to roll out by mid-2018.

PSA National President Shane Jackson recently told Nine News that Victoria is finally catching up with the rest of the world that set up 24/7 pharmacies years ago.

He has urged other states and territories to follow suit.

“If you look at what’s happening internationally, pharmacies are being set up as primary health care hubs in the community,” he says.

“We just want pharmacies utilised more for their significant skills and expertise and training,” says Dr Jackson.

“Nobody wants to be sitting in an emergency department for conditions that are non-emergencies, because that is just an inefficient use of healthcare dollars in this country.”

Meanwhile Chemist Warehouse co-founder Damien Gance says the discount chemist giant is looking at Victoria’s example as a “pilot” to see whether it makes commercial sense to open a 24/7 pharmacy.

“If it proves successful in the Victorian pharmacy initiative, we may look at rolling out similar pharmacies in key areas around the country,” Mr Gance told Nine News.

Last month, Emma Nikkerud, pharmacist manager at UFS Dispensaries in Ballarat told AJP the transition to a 24-hour Supercare Pharmacy has been challenging but rewarding.

“Our staff here have coped really well. We’re lucky to have some techs that are studying during the day and are happy to do night shifts,” says Ms Nikkerud.

“We’ve got the nursing service that’s brought more people into the store. It’s very well utilised, and has become more and more popular as people have found out about it.”

Ascot Vale Pharmacy’s transformation into a Supercare Pharmacy over the past year has “definitely been a positive for the community and a positive transition for the staff”, pharmacist Mina Elmalek told AJP.

He also said the pharmacy had become “more patient-focused” after the change.

Current 12 Supercare Pharmacy locations

  • Ascot Vale – Ascot Vale Pharmacy.
  • Ballarat – UFS Dispensaries.
  • Balwyn – Balwyn Day and Night Pharmacy.
  • Bendigo – Bendigo UFS Pharmacies.
  • Coburg – Coburg Pharmacy 4 Less.
  • Craigieburn – Amcal Pharmacy.
  • Curlewis – Curlewis Pharmacy 4 Less.
  • Parkmore – Parkmore Pharmacy 4 Less.
  • Reservoir – Reservoir Pharmacy 4 Less.
  • Traralgon – Traralgon Chemist Warehouse.
  • Wantirna South – Pharmacy@Knox.
  • Yarraville – Carnovale Pharmacy.

Upcoming eight Supercare Pharmacy locations (to be fully operating by 30 June 2018)

  • Cranbourne North – Cranbourne North Chemist Warehouse.
  • Hoppers Crossing – Hoppers Crossing Chemist Warehouse.
  • Keilor East – Keilor East Chemist Warehouse.
  • Melton – Melton Chemist Warehouse.
  • Mildura – Mildura Chemist Warehouse.
  • Ringwood – Ringwood Chemist Warehouse.
  • Shepparton – Shepparton Chemist Warehouse.
  • Parkville – HealthSmart, Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre.

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