Health and pharmacy professionals can now apply for access to 24-hour pharmacy services online for under a dollar per hour, in the Federal Government’s $25 a day pharmacy scheme.
The scheme will roll out over the next few months to all pharmacies across Australia.
Health Minister Greg Hunt says pharmacies will be able to access services for less than $5 per day and that the scheme will help to tackle shortages.
“These are some of the cheapest medicines available in Australia,” Mr Hunt said.
“The government will ensure they’re accessible to as many Australians as possible.”
He says the scheme is designed to provide pharmacies with the best possible supply and reduce the cost of prescription medication for patients.
The Health Department says it expects to have 1,000 pharmacy staff trained in the pharmacy scheme by December.
In February, the Federal government introduced a scheme that provided access to free 24-hours pharmacy services for patients aged over 65.
There are currently more than 20,000 pharmacists across the country, but Mr Hunt says that is changing.
More than 10,000 pharmacies will also be able access 24-Hour Pharmacy Services (AAPS) for $10 per hour in November.
That is about a third of the cost paid by private businesses for pharmacy services in 2016.
Mr Hunt says the Government will continue to work with private health organisations and industry to ensure that the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme is sustainable.
He said the scheme would provide access to medicines to the lowest-income Australians who have no other source of health care.
Dr David Bader, a senior pharmacist at the University of Sydney, said it was the first time that access to the scheme had been free to patients.
He said there was no need for pharmacies to charge for the services.
Topics:pharmacy-drugs,health,pharmaceuticals-and-medical-devices,government-and -politics,health-policy,healthsystem,government—public-sector,drugs-health-and,drug-use,community-and/or-society,australiaFirst posted November 18, 2020 12:24:33Contact Sophie O’BrienMore stories from New South Wales