Pharmacies to trial covid testing in coming months
BUNDABERG residents could soon only have to go as far as their local pharmacy for Covid-19 testing if a new trial proves successful.
The trial will serve as a potential way to increase testing capability around Queensland.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said it was another way to keep Queenslanders safe.
Deputy Premier and Health Minister Steven Miles said methods such as testing would have to continue to be relied upon until a vaccine was developed.
He said community pharmacies across the state could take part in the pilot project over the next few months.
“Each year there are over 458 million patient visits to community pharmacies – approximately 8.8 million per week,” he said.
“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.”
He said Queensland was one of the first jurisdictions in the world to start Covid testing.
“We also brought onboard rapid testing machines and introduced serology testing to assist with contact tracing,” he said.
“As part of this pilot program pharmacists will be provided with relevant training to conduct the testing. Collected specimens 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.
“We’re working with Pharmacy Guild of Australia, Queensland and looked at pilots done by some other states.
“Queensland Health will conduct a comprehensive review of the pilot program after the trial to determine if this is a feasible way to increase testing opportunities in community pharmacies.”
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,” he said.
“Community Pharmacy has a proud history of playing our part in the evolution of Queensland’s primary health care network.”
Residents who are feeling unwell are urged to get tested.
Bundaberg’s Fever Clinic is located at the AgroTrend Grounds on Kendalls Rd.
It is open from 7.30am until 5.30pm daily.
If you need to contact the fever clinic you can call them on 4303 8240.