Pharmacy Reform to Expand Community Health Care

The NSW Government is easing the pressure on patients who find it difficult to get an appointment with a GP, following the announcement of easier access to more medications through their local pharmacy.

Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke said the reform will expand the number of vaccinations pharmacists can administer, as well as trialling pharmacists prescribing medication for urinary tract infections and developing a pilot for trained pharmacists to prescribe medications for a range of other conditions.

“These ground-breaking reforms aim to relieve pressure on emergency departments and wait times to see a GP by giving our community more access to primary care services,” Ms Cooke said.

“This announcement is yet another innovative way in which the NSW Liberals and Nationals in Government are delivering reforms to combat the pressures currently facing health systems across the nation.”

The NSW Government will increase the community’s access to primary care through:

  • Authorising pharmacists to administer a wider range of public health and travel vaccinations from 14 November 2022, including Japanese Encephalitis, Hepatitis A and Hepatitis B, Poliomyelitis, Typhoid and Zoster.
  • Funding a 12-month trial to evaluate allowing pharmacists to prescribe medication for urinary tract infections; and
  • Supporting a state wide pilot where appropriately trained pharmacists can prescribe medications for certain conditions, such as skin ailments, ear infections, and hormonal contraception.

The COVID-19 pandemic provided a prime example of just how vital of a role local pharmacists play in keeping the community safe and well.

“Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic many of us opted to visit our local and trusted pharmacist to receive a vaccine,” she said.

Following the implementation of this announcement, the community will be able to visit an appropriately trained pharmacist to get a script for things like a urinary tract infection or birth control, easing the burden on our local GPs and reducing wait times for others that require more specialised care.

NSW Health will work with pharmacists to support the expansion of the vaccination program with education modules and materials for both themselves and their customers.

NSW pharmacists are currently able to administer six vaccines, including COVID-19 and influenza vaccines.

An expression of interest process for participation in the urinary tract infection trial will commence on 14 November 2022.

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