Our Medical Home Penrith wants PBS approved pharmacy on site

Tricia Callow hopes to have a PBS approved pharmacy at Our Medical Home Penrith. Photo: Megan Dunn.
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Patients and staff of Our Medical Home Penrith are petitioning for a Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) approved pharmacy on site, after their initial applications were rejected.

Situated on Wolseley Street, Jamisontown near the Penrith Homemaker Centre, Our Medical Home has quickly become a vital medical service in the Penrith region, in part due to its extended trading hours.

The petition seeks to allow the pharmacy to have an on site PBS pharmacy, as it is the only centre within the company without one.

This was in response to the Australian Community Pharmacy Authority’s (ACPA) refusal of a recent application by the pharmacy under the “Pharmacy Location Rules”, since there is another PBS pharmacy within 300 metres of the medical centre.

However, this other pharmacy operates significantly less hours than the medical centre, which operates seven days a week to 10pm.

Our Medical Home’s Chronic Disease Management Registered Nurse Advisor Tricia Callow said this is crucial, particularly for the elderly or disabled.

“Because I’m dealing with chronic disease management, most of my patients are elderly and their approach to most of their needs is ideally ‘one stop shop’ – they don’t want to drive around the block or walk across a car park to get their medicine,” she said.

Our Medical Home, owned by Cornerstone Health, is now asking for a special exemption from the Federal Government.

With the outbreak and rapid spread of Coronavirus or other illnesses such as influenza, the company believes one stop shop medical facilities are paramount in alleviating unnecessary spread.

“We operate strict infection control procedures at the medical centre so are much better equipped to limit the spread of virus’ such as COVID-19 and the flu, particularly when compared to large public spaces such as shopping centres,” a Cornerstone Health spokesperson said.

A spokesperson from the Department of Health said they could not comment on the specific case but said Cornerstone Health were able to appeal the ruling.

“The applicant pharmacist may request the [Health] Minister exercise his discretionary power to approve a pharmacy,” the spokesperson said.

To have your say and sign the petition, visit https://bit.ly/2vQemgs.

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