19 Jul 2023

Pharmacists say needy regions have been left out of govt scheme

From Checkpoint, 5:42 pm on 19 July 2023

Pharmacies in regions with slammed Accident and Emergency departments say it makes no sense to cut them out of a scheme aimed at easing pressure on hospitals.

The government pilot programme pays pharmacies to consult on a range of minor ailments during winter and supply funded medication, in a bid to take pressure off GP clinics and A&Es.

It's free to eligible patients, including Maori, Pasifika and under 14s. But it's restricted to districts the government says it's selected based on hospital emergency department capacity and pressures.

Pharmacists have written to the health minister saying some of worst hit areas have been excluded from the scheme.

Among them is Rotorua pharmacist, Charlotte Schimanski.

She spoke to Lisa Owen.