Queensland community pharmacies bolster COVID-19 testing

Media Release

The Pharmacy Guild of Australia, Queensland Branch, is pleased with this morning’s announcement from the Queensland Government that COVID-19 testing will be piloted in community pharmacies across Queensland. The pilot will make it even easier to keep the Queensland community safe by providing greater access to testing locations.

With community pharmacies being one of the most accessible and trusted primary healthcare professionals in Australia, Queensland Branch President, Professor Trent Twomey, encouraged community pharmacies to take part in the trial over the coming months, once registrations commence.

“Queensland is leading the way on COVID-19 testing and this trial is another asset to protect Queenslanders.”

“Queenslanders are already presenting in community pharmacies with possible COVID-19 symptoms. It makes sense to opportunistically test those members of the community with possible symptoms, as they are already attending the pharmacy for their medications and healthcare advice.”

“Community Pharmacy has a proud history of playing our part in the evolution of Queensland’s primary health care network.”

“We’ll work with the Queensland Government to ensure the success of the pilot.” said Prof. Twomey.

Deputy Premier and Minister for Health and Ambulance Services Steven Miles said the pilot program was about making testing even more accessible.

“Until we have an approved vaccine for COVID-19, we will continue to rely on methods like testing to keep Queenslanders safe,” Mr Miles said.

“That’s why we’re launching a pilot program to trial testing for COVID-19 in community pharmacies.”

Mr Miles said community pharmacies across the state could take part in the pilot project over the next few months.

“Each year there are over 458 million patient visits to community pharmacies – approximately 8.8 million per week,” he said.

With 97% of Queenslanders living within 2.5km of their local community pharmacy, and 65% in regional areas, COVID-19 testing will be more accessible throughout the pilot.

The announcement proves timely with Professor Sarah Gilbert set to provide a clinical update about the University of Oxford’s COVID-19 vaccination journey to Australian pharmacists on 25 August. The Pharmacy Guild of Australia, Queensland Branch, and the Australasian College of Pharmacy, worked together to organise this exclusive webinar where Prof. Sarah Gilbert will provide a live update on the front-running University of Oxford COVID-19 vaccine. All pharmacists are encouraged to sign up – and to attend –at 7:00pm AEST on 25 August, to become engaged in this important scope of practice for pharmacists. Pharmacists nationwide can register for the webinar at www.guild.org.au/covidvaccineupdate.

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