Media Release 24/11/2022

Victorian Government Announcement on scope of practice for pharmacist

The Australian Patients Association has today welcomed the announcement that a re-elected Victorian Government would fund 19 million to deliver a 12 month trial expanding the scope of practice for Community Pharmacists.

The Australian Patients Association says this is great news for patients, especially women who seek urgent assistance for the medical condition.

“We know that through no fault of their own, GPs are struggling to meet demand from an overloaded medical system, so it makes sense for patients to be able to seek and receive expert advice and assistance from a pharmacist,” said Australian Patients Association CEO, Stephen Mason.

“It’s not right to make any woman, wait for help while suffering from the pain of a urinary tract infection (UTI) and to wait for much needed relief.

“Nor should they have to wait for a GP to receive a repeat prescription for the condition or in some cases wait in an emergency depart for pain relief.”

Mr Mason says this will not only ease the discomfort for Victorian women suffering from a UTI, but will also help to reduce GP waiting times and help prevent women having to sit in emergency wards.

“Allowing pharmacists to treat uncomplicated UTIs is a logical step to help relieve the burden on our overstretched health system and ensure women have access to the routine healthcare services they need,” he said.

Mr Mason noted that this is now the fourth such announcement by a state or territory government to enable pharmacists to use their full scope of practice to not only help patients but help fellow health professionals meet the rapidly growing demand on the health system.

“It makes sense to take the pressure off the sector by allowing pharmacists to do more of what they are trained to do.

“We now hope other states and territories follow Queensland, New South Wales, the Northern Territory and now Victoria in giving patients choice and convenience of using their local community pharmacy for uncomplicated conditions such as UTI.

For further information contact: Stephen Mason Ph: 0408 944 859