PHARMACISTS are as unsure as the rest of the community about how rapid antigen tests will be made available and tracked for concession card holders as promised by the federal government.
National cabinet agreed on Wednesday to provide up to 10 free rapid antigen tests over three months to about 6.6 million Australians on concession cards. But how they will be made available and be tracked remains unclear.
It follows changes to testing requirements, with anyone who returns a positive rapid antigen test no longer required to get a PCR test.
Chelsea Felkai, NSW Branch President of the Pharmaceutical Society and a Newcastle-based pharmacist, said pharmacists found out at the same time as the rest of the community.
"Pharmacists feel a bit like they are the meat between the sandwich," Mrs Felkai said.
"The government doesn't seem to recognise the very sudden demand these announcements tend to create.
"We haven't heard anything more about actually how that's going to roll out. People are coming in and asking lots of questions but at this stage we haven't been told."
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A lot of pharmacists felt that if it was linked with the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme it would be more straightforward.
"But they are talking about a different administrative process," she said. "More work and more paper work, a whole new way of reporting. It's just reinventing the wheel."
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