Last September 30, 2022, was a historic day for Australians residing in Queensland, especially for women’s healthcare, as the UTI Pharmacy Pilot was finally made permanent. This means that starting October 1, 2022, community pharmacists can continue diagnosing and treating patients with non-complicated urinary tract infections.
Back in July, the Queensland Government welcomed this UTI Pharmacy Pilot. Generally, this pilot program aims to help women who do not have access to a general practitioner or GP clinic, or who are unable to schedule an appointment because of the abrupt onset of symptoms of UTI. Eventually, these patients can consider visiting their neighbourhood pharmacy to obtain secure, efficient, and practical healthcare services from pharmacists.
According to Mr. Chris Owen, The Pharmacy Guild of Australia Queensland Branch President, community pharmacists take pride in leading the way in improvements to women's health. Additionally, he also believes that the Queensland Government should be commended for its efforts to systematically restructure the state's healthcare system so that patients have access to a wide range of first-rate treatments.
Generally, this UTI pharmacy pilot was seen to be effective in addressing the health concerns of women. It was noted in the study from the Queensland University of Technology that this pilot can efficiently resolve women’s UTI symptoms. Based on these patients’ feedback, they consider this UTI pharmacy pilot program accessible without having to worry about the skills of community pharmacists.
Pharmacist Immunisers Now Authorised by the Victorian Government
The Victorian Department of Health and the Andrews Labor Government made the decision to allow pharmacist immunisers to administer the monkeypox vaccination, and the Pharmacy Guild of Australia - Victoria Branch applauds this decision.
This means that the following list of vaccines below can already be administered by pharmacists, especially in the community setting:
Human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine for patients 12 years and above
DPT vaccine for patients 12 years old and above
Pneumococcal vaccines for patients above 50 years old
Shingles vaccine to patients above 50 years old
Monkeypox vaccine to patients 5 years old and above
For the last vaccine, only those with recommendations or a go signal from their respective medical doctors will be vaccinated.
According to Anthony Tassone, The Guild Victorian Branch President, these additions are fantastic news for patients as they provide more access to safeguard their community, family, and themselves.
The Guild has vociferously pushed for pharmacist immunisers to have the training and skills necessary to deliver a wider variety of vaccines to the public. This choice is seen as a crucial step toward enabling pharmacists to practice to the fullest extent possible for the benefit of the country’s healthcare system.
Accreditation Standards for Pharmacist Prescribing
Last October 6, 2022, the Pharmacy Board of Australia’s decision to develop accreditation standards for pharmacist prescribing education programs was introduced and The Pharmacy Guild of Australia welcomed this.
According to Professor Trent Twomey, The Guild’s President, this can improve the accessibility of patients to essential medicines and treatment options that can be provided by pharmacists in the clinical and community areas.
Additionally, Professor Twomey believes that pharmacist prescribing can offer sustainability for patients aiming to receive affordable and effective medicines. The regulating body responsible for preparing these standards is the Australian Pharmacy Council (APC).
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