Would you work for a pharmacy that is open 24/7, 365 days of the year?
There are currently 12 Supercare Pharmacies across Victoria, with a further eight to be opened by mid-2018 – bringing the total to 20 across the state.
The pharmacies were selected after the Government undertook a competitive tender process.
Supercare Pharmacies enable 24-hour community access to pharmacists for advice, supply of medicines and dispensing of prescriptions, in addition to a nursing service between 6pm and 10pm.
Each pharmacy has a security guard on site at night-time.
The Victorian Government says its Supercare Pharmacy Initiative gives the local community an alternative to visiting emergency departments for minor injury or illness after hours.
“Our hospital emergency departments have been under pressure this flu season. Supercare pharmacies have made a real difference, providing another option for families, and helping to ease the load, late at night,” says Minister for Health Jill Hennessy.
“With another eight on board, we have delivered on our election promise to open 20 Supercare Pharmacies, with six in regional Victoria.”
The Victorian Government committed $28.7 million to introduce 20 Supercare Pharmacies by 2018.
Ascot Vale Pharmacy was one of five pharmacies that switched to a 24-hour schedule in June 2016.
“The intention was to take pressure off emergency departments,” pharmacist Dimitra Tsucalas told AJP late last year.
“It’s been very different obviously. We’ve had to recruit new staff and we’re really happy with those.
“We had to fill two eight-hour shifts, so we hired two new pharmacists, a pharmacy assistant and a security guard.”
Ms Tsucalas said the pharmacy has been able to provide additional assistance because of the extended hours.
“The baby market and getting advice is a big area, so parents – particularly new parents – have been very welcoming of the change to 24 hours.
“There’s people coming in needing things they’ve forgotten through the day, or for primary care services easily dealt with in a pharmacy,” she said.