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Women’s health a top priority as Queensland Health extends urinary tract infection pharmacy pilot

In a definitive commitment to the advancement of women’s healthcare in the state, Queensland Health has extended the Urinary Tract Infection Pharmacy Pilot – Queensland (UTIPP-Q) until 30 June 2022. The Pilot is led by QUT (Queensland University of Technology) and a Consortium of partners, including The Pharmacy Guild of Australia and the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia.

The extension ensures that Queensland women between the ages of 18-65 will continue to be able to seek immediate advice and treatment for uncomplicated Urinary Tract Infections (UTI) through their participating local community pharmacy.

Queensland women can visit to find their local community pharmacy offering the UTI service.

The Pharmacy Guild of Australia, Queensland Branch’s President, Chris Owen, welcomed the extension and applauded the Queensland Government’s recognition of community pharmacy’s role in delivering valuable primary healthcare services to patients.

“One in every two Australian women experience a UTI in their lifetime,” he said.

“The extension of the Pilot gives women affected by uncomplicated UTIs access to early, convenient and effective treatment from their participating local community pharmacy.”

“Access to timely and appropriate medical treatment can be difficult for many Queensland women,” Mr Owen said.
97% of metropolitan consumers and 66% of regional consumers are less than 2.5km from a community pharmacy, said Mr. Owen, “No booking requirements and extended hours of operation support patients who need urgent care.”

“The quicker an UTI can be diagnosed and treated, or referred to another healthcare provider if necessary, the less likely the patient is to experience further complications that may result in hospitalisation.”

“Participating community pharmacy are pleased to continue supporting patients and advancing women’s healthcare.”

The six-month extension will allow Queensland Health to complete an evaluation of the Pilot and undertake further work to establish the UTI service as part of the usual care provided by community pharmacists.

As of 2 December 2021, 819 pharmacies have registered and consented to participate in the pilot; 1,895 pharmacists have completed the mandatory training; and over 6,300 women had accessed the service.

Pilot Lead, Professor Lisa Nissen, Head of the School of Clinical Sciences at QUT (Queensland University of Technology), said she was pleased with the uptake of the service.

“These figures demonstrate a clear demand for the service in Queensland communities and a willingness from community pharmacy to meet that demand,” Prof. Nissen said.

“The Pilot’s success has illustrated the key role community pharmacy can play in reducing pressure on public health assets whilst still providing world-class primary healthcare services – not just in metropolitan areas – but in the regional, rural, and remote communities that Queensland women call home.”

“I congratulate Queensland Health for empowering community pharmacies to deliver this vital service to the women of Queensland.”

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