The trial allows pharmacists to provide medications for uncomplicated urinary tract infections (UTIs) and low-risk oral contraceptive pills.
Allowing pharmacists to dispense these everyday medications takes pressure off of GPs.
It’s part of the NSW Government’s response to improve access to GPs for those who need them the most.
The initiative is also helping to address cost of living pressures by reducing the medical expenses patients face when seeking everyday medications.
Between 1 July 2023 and 18 January 2024, 618 local residents in the region received consultations for uncomplicated UTIs.
Forty-three received consultations for the resupply of the oral contraceptive pill.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Health Ryan Park:
“Over the course of this trial so far, we have seen over 9,000 people across New South Wales receive consultations for everyday medications that they would have otherwise had to go to a GP for.
“This is part of our broader effort to relieve the pressure on our GPs, which includes the rollout of 25 urgent care clinics across the state.”
Quotes attributable to Member for Wollongong Paul Scully:
“It has been taking weeks for many in Wollongong to get in to see their GP and this trial shows that changes to scope of practice can benefit patients, GP practices and pharmacists alike.
“With cost-of-living pressures on the community and time-poor GPs, this trial that saves time and money, will help people keep up with their medical treatment, which will create savings for everyone.”
Quotes attributable to Member for Shellharbour Anna Watson:
“This initiative not only helps locals access the everyday medications they need, but also allows our hard-working doctors to spend more time caring for patients.”
Quotes attributable to Member for South Coast Liza Butler:
“This trial has allowed our hard-working local pharmacists to prescribe medications for uncomplicated conditions, taking pressure off our local GPs.
“I look forward to seeing this reform being rolled out for other uncomplicated medications.”
Quotes attributable to Member for Heathcote Maryanne Stuart:
“This trial takes a commonsense approach to ensuring residents have access to medications with appropriate oversight from a professional at their pharmacist.”
Quotes attributable to Labor Spokesperson for Kiama Sarah Kaine MLC:
“We know the Kiama electorate needs more GPs, and while recruitment and retention of a primary health workforce in regional areas remains a priority for this government, the pharmacy prescriptions trial provides local residents with timely, safe and cost-effective access to medications now.
“In the current cost of living crisis, providing safe and cost-effective access to everyday medications is important. It is great to see residents in the Illawarra, Shoalhaven and Shellharbour region benefitting from the pharmacy prescriptions trial.”