Victory for the town with no medicines

Michael McCormack talks to locals in Bonny Hills. Image: Michael McCormack via Twitter
Michael McCormack talks to locals in Bonny Hills. Image: Michael McCormack via Twitter

Only 3,000 people live there – yet the people of Bonny Hills gathered 2,813 signatures to get their own pharmacy… and won

Visiting Bonny Hills and Lake Cathie today at the invitation of Federal Member for Lyne Dr David Gillespie, Deputy Prime Minister and Leader of the Nationals Michael McCormack announced that the Government had green-lighted the new Bonny Hills Pharmacy.

Mr McCormack said that local pharmacist Karen Pikett, Dr Gillespie and the 2,813 who signed the petition put forward a compelling case.

Last year Dr Gillespie tabled the petition in Parliament, saying that a pharmacy in the town would be a great addition to quality of life.

“We recognise the significant growth taking place here in Lake Cathie and Bonny Hills,” said Mr McCormack.

“The population grew by more than 17% in the 10 years since 2006, well above the state average of 14.2% over the same period.

“Our government understands and supports the current framework which applies Pharmacy Location Rules governing where new pharmacies may be established.

“We do, however, reserve the right to intervene where it is plainly common sense to do so.”

Under the location rules, Bonny Hills falls just inside the exclusion zone regarding where another pharmacy could be located.

Dr Gillespie said that there is “certainly” justification for Bonny Hills to have its own pharmacy.

“I have had a number of discussions with the Minister for Health Greg Hunt and his office about the need for a pharmacy in Bonny Hills, and I was able to demonstrate this with the population data we have seen in recent years, the demographics of our local population, and the growth forecasts for the next 15 to 20 years.

“This is a great day for the people of Bonny Hills, and for those in Lake Cathie where some of the local services have been pretty busy in more recent times and I’d like to take this opportunity to thank Karen and her team on achieving this wonderful outcome for the community.”

Ms Pikett said the new Bonny Hills Centre – which will contain a full medical centre, dentist, café and hairdresser as well as the pharmacy – is expected to open in mid-May 2019.

“The community of Bonny Hills will be able to access medical treatment in its entirety without leaving the suburb, which is a great relief for many elderly, sick and those with young infants,” she said.

“The pharmacy will provide timely access to PBS medicines along with other essential services such as medication reviews, chronic disease services and compliance aids.

“We hope to open the pharmacy on the 13th May,” as well as “three prescribers – two GPs and a dentist, as well as a registered nurse and pathology.”

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