ACT News


ACT's first pharmacy health hub

ACT pharmacist Ben Jackson is hoping he will set a trend that reduces the burden on GPs and hospital networks in his industry.

His pharmacy in Belconnen is the first in the ACT, but one of a wave in the industry, to adopt the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia's "health destination" model, which provides extra services for areas such as wound care, asthma, or diabetes.

The model aims to give pharmacies a chance to meet health needs before customers see a doctor.

"This is what pharmacy is about – health, dealing with people and helping people," Mr Jackson said. "This is getting us back to what we are really trained to do."

The federal government's review of pharmacy remuneration and regulation, led by Professor Stephen King, is investigating the future of pharmacy.

"All our customers come to pharmacy on average 14 times a year," Mr Jackson said. "We are so easily accessible, so I think the government will realise we can triage lots of things."


Along with a $1500 fee per month, Mr Jackson has remodelled his pharmacy and invested in staff training to integrate the PSA model.

He said it was a worthwhile move to "align his business with the future of pharmacy".

PSA's Health Destination head coach Rachel Dienaar said the initiative repositioned the pharmacy as a health hub by offering expert advice and clinical interventions in areas where there are gaps for consumers.

So far 25 pharmacies Australia-wide were operating under the model, which has been nominated for an International Pharmaceutical Federation award to be announced soon.

"It's rewarding as a coach to see Health Destination pharmacies overcoming challenges to realise their vision of improving the health outcomes in communities and at the same time seeing their businesses grow," she said.

"Our sites are growing at three times the financial rate of the industry average."