Pharmacists willing to go west: poll


rural pharmacy: pretty rural scene with gum trees and blue sky

While it isn’t everybody’s first choice, a significant number of Australian pharmacists would consider leaving the city behind in a bid to further their career, a recent AJP.com.au poll suggests.

At the PSA16 conference, NAPSA’s Matthew Scott said that there was significant potential in looking at rural and remote areas, both in terms of finding work and finding better rates of pay.

We asked AJP.com.au readers whether they’d consider leaving the city behind to find work – and found that while it wouldn’t be the first choice of all, a surprisingly large number of pharmacists would consider expanding their horizons.

Twenty-two per cent of readers said they were currently working in a rural setting, with another 11% saying they’d be happy to go rural to find work, and another 7% saying they were of rural or regional background already.

Fourteen per cent said they’d working in a rural pharmacy in the past, and would do so again; another 23% wouldn’t do it again, but at least had given it a go.

Only 8% said they would never go rural to find work in pharmacy.

Scott told the AJP today that these results were encouraging, and urged all pharmacists dissatisfied with their employment prospects or pay rates to consider the opportunities available outside the major cities.

“To quote [former Young Pharmacist of the Year] Taren Gill, if you go into providing health care, you need to go where Australia needs the most care – which is rural,” Scott, who is from a Riverina district town called Bunnaloo, says.

“There’s a lot more opportunities to do things you may not get a chance to do in the metro areas, such as going out and doing Aboriginal health work in the community.

“It’s encouraging that people are starting to realise that there’s opportunities out here; sometimes the only way to get people out to the country is for them to realise what they’re missing.

“Too many people look at it as leaving the city, leaving the lifestyle they think they want, when they haven’t had the chance to experience something different elsewhere.”

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