By Juliano Oliveira
A pilot project will enable Queensland pharmacies to offer COVID-19 tests as an attempt to increase testing capability in the state.
Pharmacists will receive the proper training to conduct the testing. The samples collected will be analysed by Queensland Health and managed according to existing Queensland Health procedures.
“That means those tested will be advised to isolate in accordance with COVID-19 national guidelines and identified cases will be notified by the relevant Public Health Unit,” Deputy Premier and Minister for Health and Ambulance Services Steven Miles said.
Following the trial period, the Queensland Government will analyse its overcomes and define if community pharmacies are the best option to facilitate and increase the access to COVID-19 tests.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the trial is another way to keep Queenslanders safe.
“Queenslanders have done a great job in slowing the spread of COVID-19,” the Premier said.
“This is just another way to make that job easier.”
Mr Miles stated that each year there are over 458 million patient visits to community pharmacies – approximately 8.8 million per week.
“Community pharmacies are often accessible, trusted places in communities across Queensland, including regional and remote areas.
“Making testing available at your local pharmacy will make it even easier for Queenslanders to get tested.
“We’re working with Pharmacy Guild of Australia, Queensland and looked at pilots done by some other states.”
President Pharmacy Guild of Australia, Queensland Professor Trent Twomey said they would work with the Queensland Government to ensure the success of the trial.
“Queenslanders are already presenting in Pharmacy with possible symptoms which are similar to COVID-19 symptoms and requesting cold and flu medications. It makes sense to opportunistically test those members of the community with possible symptoms.