The community pharmacy system in Australia is recognised as world-best and the expertise and knowledge of your pharmacist means healthcare is available to you in a convenient, accessible and affordable manner.
While there are more than 5500 community pharmacies across Australia, many people enjoy the convenience and benefits of having a ‘family’ pharmacy, one which is their regular pharmacy and where they know the pharmacists, and the pharmacists and staff know them.
Using the same pharmacy means that records of your medicines are readily available and while the introduction of ehealth systems means all records will eventually be made readily available to healthcare professionals, many patients prefer to go to their regular pharmacy for their medicines.
Using a regular pharmacy also means that a relationship can be established with the pharmacists and staff who work there.
These staff will be aware of your health needs and the medicines you take and this can be a great advantage in helping you to take your medicines properly and also when addressing health issues.
Your community pharmacist is your medicines expert, providing professional advice and counselling on medicines including their use and effects, as well as general healthcare guidance. Having a relationship where they know about you and the medicines you take can help maximise the benefits of your health regimen.
In addition, such a relationship can be beneficial in the event of any adverse reactions you may have to a medicine you are taking as your pharmacist will be aware of your health history, allergies and so on and be able to act accordingly.
Your pharmacist is also increasingly becoming involved in the delivery of professional services which are services performed by the pharmacist or pharmacy staff to support your health. These can include weight management, smoking cessation, diabetes management, sleep services, blood pressure monitoring and medicines checks to name just a few.
In addition they can help with minor wounds and ailments and other issues which might normally require a visit to the GP. But the pharmacist will always refer you to a doctor if they feel it necessary for you to have a doctor examine you or if you need further treatment.
Having a special relationship with the pharmacists also means they will know which of the professional services they offer or plan to introduce may help you.
They have a professional interest in your welfare and the relationship of having a regular pharmacist means that professionalism is underscored by a better knowledge of you, your lifestyle and your health history.