Bloom’s the Chemist in Daylesford is participating in a 12-month trial aimed at making basic health care more accessible and affordable and reducing the load on General Practitioners.

Under the trial, about 400 selected pharmacies across the state will be able to provide a number of services which previously required a visit to a GP. Services include advice or treatment for women with uncomplicated urinary tract infections (UTIs) or a resupply of their existing contraceptive pill without needing a prescription and a broader public health vaccination offering, travel health consultations and treatment for mild skin conditions.

Importantly, Victorians won’t be charged for a pharmacy consultation for UTIs, mild skin conditions or a resupply of the contraceptive pill. Pharmacies may charge a fee for a travel health consultation and vaccinations, while the cost of medication will remain the same as a prescription from a GP.

To be eligible to participate, pharmacists are required to successfully complete mandatory training in the piloted services and demonstrate they are well equipped to know if someone should be referred to a GP or hospital. They must also prove they have the appropriate facilities within the pharmacy, like a private consulting room.

“We are very excited to be able to provide more health services to our community,” said pharmacist Huy Huynh. “And we look forward to more initiatives from the government to improve access to health care for everyone.”

The pilot is being guided by expert advisory and clinical groups representing Victorians and the pharmacy and medical professions, including the Pharmacy Guild of Australia, Pharmaceutical Society of Australia, Royal Australian College of General Practitioners, and Victorian Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation.

At its conclusion, the pilot will be evaluated, and any recommendations will help inform longer-term decision making around the role of community pharmacists.

“With pharmacy consultation and prescribing already commonplace in many countries, we know it can provide a safe and affordable alternative for Victorians, while freeing up GPs for those with more urgent needs,” said Minister for Health and local member, Mary-Anne Thomas. “Our hardworking pharmacists are pillars of the Macedon community – now locals can rely on their wealth of knowledge for additional services when they need a fast and affordable basic health care alternative.”

These expanded services are available at Blooms the Chemist, Daylesford during normal business hours. For more information or to make an appointment, call 5348 2301.

This article is based on a media release from Member for Macedon, Mary-Anne Thomas.