Local healthcare is now being delivered in a new way

Local pharmacist Russell Smith with customer Daphne Cross last week.

Cobar residents can now access an emergency supply of medicine from local pharmacies when they can’t get to their doctor for a prescription.

The Federal Government last week announced extended dispensing arrangements that will allow patients to receive an emergency supply of their medication without a prescription, where the pharmacist is satisfied there is an immediate need.

Pharmacist Russell Smith from the Cobar Pharmacy said the new arrangements will benefit people who are not able to see their doctor for a prescription or must self isolate.

Mr Smith said the medicine must have been previously supplied by a patient’s doctor and be for the continuation of essential treatment where it is impractical to obtain a prescription.

“We’re not permitted to initiate treatments,” Mr Smith said.

Patients are required to show the pharmacist some proof they have previously been getting prescriptions and that it hasn’t been feasible to see a doctor.

Mr Smith said presenting the package that the last supply came in with the label on it will help the pharmacist to positively identify that the medication is associated with that person.

This however will not necessarily apply for all medications.

Mr Smith said during these challenging times, everyone is having to do things in a new way including doctors sending through electronic prescriptions.

“Due to current health concerns, doctors are not necessarily seeing patients directly.”

Mr Smith said doctors are withdrawing more from face-to-face consultations for the safety of a patient’s health, the safety of other patients visiting the practice or for the doctor’s own safety.

“This is a way of the doctors enabling people to get the treatments.”

Pharmacists have been able to do emergency scripts for some time for exceptional circumstances.

Mr Smith said it had mostly been for people who were travelling and had left