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Milestone moment for North Queensland Community Pharmacy Scope of Practice Pilot

The North Queensland Community Pharmacy Scope of Practice Pilot (Pilot) has reached its first milestone with the enrolment for training now open. 

The Pharmacy Guild of Australia, Queensland Branch President Chris Owen said reaching this important component of the Pilot is the first step in taking the profession forward and ensuring patients within the Pilot region in North Queensland will receive improved access to world-class primary healthcare services. 

“With Queensland public hospitals and emergency departments already stretched, community pharmacists can do more to provide accessible and essential care to Queensland communities. 

“Enabling community pharmacists and other primary healthcare professionals to practice at their full scope will better manage the incidence and management of chronic diseases, preventable hospitalisations and non-urgent emergency department presentations,” says Mr Owen. 

For the past 12 months, Queensland Branch has been working with government representatives and education institutions—James Cook University, Queensland University of Technology and the Australasian College of Pharmacy—to formalise the framework and parameters for the Pilot, which is expected to be launched in late 2022 and continue through to 2024.

The Pharmacy Guild of Australia, North Queensland Branch Committee Member Cate Whalan said the response from eligible community pharmacists, working in the region of the 37 Local Government Associations participating in the Pilot, has been extremely positive. 

“From Cairns to Mackay, Townsville and Mt Isa, we have a strong network of community pharmacists ready to embark on additional higher education and training, on top of their existing skills, knowledge, and competence to provide greater services for their patients. This is a huge win for the North Queensland community.

“All Queenslanders deserve better healthcare services and should have access to immediate care for everyday common conditions.

“We know that North Queensland patients are experiencing significant shortages in healthcare services as well as prolonged wait times to see their regular GP. With this significant change in the primary healthcare system, we are thrilled that the first independent prescribers in Australia will come out of North Queensland,” says Ms Whalan.  

“The next step for community pharmacists and pharmacies is to submit their expression of interest for the enrolment process before Wednesday 22 March, however community pharmacies and pharmacists are encouraged to submit their EOI enrolment as soon as possible,” says Mr Owen.

For more information about the Pilot, go to

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