It’s doctors versus pharmacists: whose side are you on? 125



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This week the Government reached an in-principle agreement that could see pharmacists offering more health-care services to customers. Wound dressings and vaccinations are examples of procedures you could have in your local pharmacy, plus ongoing management of chronic health conditions like arthritis.

So where does that leave doctors?

If, like me, you budget an extra hour for every doctor’s visit to accommodate him/her running late, you might think they’d be happy to have someone lift the workload. But not so.

The president of the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners, Frank R Jones, told the ABC the Government had “bowed to the pressure of the pharmacy sector”.

Meanwhile, the Australian Medical Association vice-president Stephen Parnis said such changes would lead to fragmentation of care. “Pharmacists are not medically trained to provide medical services, nor are they indemnified to do so,” he said in a report by the Sydney Morning Herald.

When announcing the plan on Monday, Health Minister Sussan Ley said, “There’s an opportunity for pharmacists to step into the primary care space, but we are doing this carefully and in an evidence-based way”.

The changes will save the Government an estimated $5 billion and, ultimately, it’s we customers who will see the benefit: the pharmacy agreement includes an option for chemists to discount medicines by $1 per script.

Today, pharmacists offer blood-pressure tests and medication reviews. We want to know how you would feel about having your pharmacist take over other aspects of your health care.

Would you welcome less time in the doctor’s waiting room or do you feel it would affect the level of care you currently receive. What medical services are you perfectly happy for pharmacists to provide?

Starts at 60 Writers

The Starts at 60 writers team seek out interesting topics and write them especially for you.

  1. No thanks, my doctor knows my medical history over the past 30yrs, what works for me & what doesn’t, I have trust in her, I’ve never had excessive waiting time when I have an appointment either.

  2. I went to my doctor a while ago to get a prescription for cream for a skin condition I have, at the chemist I let them talk me into getting something else that they said would be better & more natural, it never worked, ended up having to get the prescription cream anyway so I wasted my time & money on what the chemist told me to get, I’ll stick with my doctors advice thanks.

    2 REPLY
    • I did that after buying 3 different types of creams for my teenage daughter’s thrush infection from prescriptions!
      Went to a Guardian chemist where they had a naturopathic section and I was told that Blackmore’s Acidophilous tablets were supposed to be very effective. Its the good bacteria that changes milk into yoghurt and I knew that yoghurt was good for preventing thrush if taking antibiotics.
      Her thrush was better the next day and I did not have to buy another cream!
      Amazing results!

  3. Would be good, flu jabs, blood pressure taken, heart monitored, Glucose levels checked , for older people follow ups from minor ops like stitches, ulcers dressed, sp many have to go to Doc every few days for months to get dressings. I often consult my chemist on medications &complaints I gt.

    1 REPLY
    • Heart monitored ??? Ulcers dressed, sutures removed. Will they pay medical insurance that costs Drs a fortune. Are they trained to check the ulcer is not infected to the bone ?? DOCTOR for me.
      Injections maybe by chemist and medication advice which is their job and what they trained for !!!

  4. While I appreciate the advice with medications my doctor prescribes, my chemist only dispense drugs, he does not diagnose illness. I am sticking with the doctor

  5. I like my chemist, he is a very funny man and always gives me good advice BUT he is not my Doctor, if I am sick I am not going to the chemist..I am going to the Doc

  6. I would go to the chemist for needles and wound dressing. I went to a doctor’s surgery to get my flu injection, the shot was free because I am over 65, the visit cost me $72.00, with a $35.00 medicare refund, was with the doctor about 5mins, needle given by nurse……..

    1 REPLY

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