Equitable access to basic healthcare must be priority for ACT Government

14 November 2022



The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA) has urged the ACT Government to follow New South Wales’ lead to allow pharmacists to do more amidst ongoing GP shortages.


The NSW Government announced yesterday (13 November 2022) that pharmacists who undergo further training will be able to participate in a 12-month trial to prescribe medication for urinary tract infections (UTIs), as well as a pilot to prescribe oral contraception and medications for minor skin conditions and ear infections.


PSA ACT President Olivia Collenette says that Canberrans deserve the same access to basic healthcare as residents living over the border.


“In the ACT we have patients waiting up to three weeks for an appointment with a GP, leaving significant gaps in care,” Ms Collenette said.


“Canberrans deserve better access to medicines, whether it’s anti-biotics for an infection or oral contraceptives.


“Forcing a patient who has been on oral contraception for years, for example, to wait for a GP appointment to get their script renewed significantly limits the accessibility of contraception and basic healthcare.


“Pharmacists are Canberra’s most accessible health care providers, we are ideally placed to support patients to access to contraception and basic healthcare.


Ms Collenette added that allowing pharmacists to treat minor ailments would bridge the access gap caused by GP shortages.


“When a patient has a painful infection and can’t see their GP, they’re going to go to the emergency department to seek treatment. This is only putting more pressure on our already stretched hospitals.


“We know that GP shortages are not going to be fixed overnight, so it’s vital that the healthcare sector work together to ensure patients can access the treatment and medicines they need.


“The ACT Government should take immediate action to allow pharmacists to support community health. The government must put patients first.”




Media contact:   Georgia Clarke   M: 0410 505 315     E: georgia.clarke@psa.org.au