Queensland women guaranteed greater access to treatment for UTIs

Minister for Health and Ambulance Services The Honourable Yvette D'Ath

Women will continue to receive expanded healthcare services for urinary tract infections (UTI) following the Queensland Government’s decision to permanently extend a successful pilot program.

Minister for Health and Ambulance Services Yvette D’Ath today announced Queensland Health would embed the Urinary Tract Infection Pharmacy Pilot (UTIPP-Q) into business-as-usual care for Queenslanders.

Minister D’Ath said the decision ensured women aged between 18 and 65 could continue to receive immediate advice and treatment for uncomplicated UTIs through their local participating pharmacy.

“UTIPP-Q was introduced in June 2020 to improve and support the health of Queensland women and has been incredibly successful since its commencement,” she said.

“Queensland Health engaged with local pharmacies, representative bodies and the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) to significantly enhance women’s access to early, convenient and effective treatment for uncomplicated UTIs.

“Participating pharmacists were empowered to provide advice, and where appropriate, medication ensuring women could seek treatment quickly and locally given the more than 800 pharmacies that took part.

“More than 6,700 women accessed this service, which reported overall positive consumer satisfaction due to availability of immediate advice, treatment and, if required, onward referral to a doctor.

“I am pleased to announce that the pilot will now be made permanent.”

Minister D’Ath said consultation will now occur with key healthcare stakeholders representing pharmacists, doctors, health consumers and nurses on how best to implement the program on an ongoing basis.

“Queensland Health worked incredibly closely with stakeholders to ensure the pilot delivered positive results for women who took part, and I am confident that work will continue,” she said.

“It demonstrates what can be achieved when we work together in the interests of improving healthcare for Queenslanders.”

QUT led the pilot on behalf of Queensland Health and recently conducted an evaluation report that found pharmacists and consumers were generally pleased and supportive of the scheme.

“In most cases, women taking part presented for a single episode of care with symptoms consistent with an uncomplicated UTI and received immediate treatment or advice, in line with the pilot’s aims,” Minister D’Ath said.

“It is important Queensland Health continues to evolve to provide effective healthcare services to the community, and engaging with local pharmacies is critical to achieving this.

“We know from international experience on how effective this can be, particularly in the United Kingdom, Canada and New Zealand where community pharmacists provide a wide range of patient care activities including prescribing.

“It makes sense to offer this well-received program on an ongoing basis to ensure women continue to receive this important service that provides an alternative avenue for Queenslanders to receive care.”

QUT’s evaluation report of UTIPP-Q is available here

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