Say goodbye to germ-ridden doctors’ waiting rooms

Let a pharmacist rescue you from the germ-ridden waiting rooms of doctors.

Pharmacist Helping

Have you ever wished you could avoid spending time in a doctor’s waiting room packed with patients coughing and spluttering all over you?

The growing list of services on offer by some pharmacies now includes helping customers who are not sick enough to visit the GP to bypass medical clinics altogether.

They can include $5 finger-prick testing for blood-sugar levels and coeliac disease, free blood pressure monitoring, tests for anemia, cholesterol, oral health, medication reviews and management, and affordable flu injections.

While costs may vary from one chemist to another, generally, those aged 65 and over will pay around $9.95 for a flu shot, according to chemist chain PharmaSave. There is no need for a doctor’s prescription and the price includes the vaccine and the service. It’s great value if you are not eligible to be bulk-billed by your GP, potentially saving you more than $70 as well as an uncomfortable stint in the waiting room.

Pharmacists can also issue absence from work certificates for around $20 and send you an SMS to remind you when to obtain a prescription for your medicines.

A more recent initiative is myDNA Testing, a comprehensive analysis of how likely you are to respond to a particular drug. On a genetic level, the test can ascertain if a medicine you have been prescribed will be effective and indicate that an alternative drug may work better. At $99 for screening one medication to $149 for multiple screenings, it isn’t cheap, but the benefits are big. It takes the guesswork out of a doctor’s prescription and potentially saves time and misery.

The testing could be particularly useful for elusive illnesses, such as depression, in which patients may need to experiment with several different types of anti-depressants before they find one that works for them, according to PharmaSave.

Finally, pharmacists are highly trained professionals who should not be overlooked for advice about health concerns. They can recommend over-the-counter medications for various health conditions and will advise you to visit your GP if they consider it necessary.

Some pharmacies even have private consultation rooms if you want to discuss your condition away from the public space.

Have you ever been lucky enough to avoid going to the doctor’s after consulting a pharmacist? Would you have your DNA screened to understand if you have been prescribed the most effective drug?



    To make a comment, please register or login
    Ted Wards
    23rd Oct 2017
    No but thank you for that information, I will give it a go next time!
    23rd Oct 2017
    No but the pharmacist wen through the side effects of the medication and gave me readable information. Thanks Chemist Warehouse. I recommend them for helpful advice.
    23rd Oct 2017
    Over 65s get free flu vaccine from their GPs ... paying at the pharmacy is a bit weird in view of that. Also, any decent pharmacist will ask when you put in a prescription, whether you've had this before and unless you say something like 'oh yes, I've been taking it for years with no problems', you'll have all the side effects [including uncommon ones] explained to you in detail. Fancy DNA tests to help speculate on how you might react to some drug seems over the top to me, especially at those prices. And finally, most GPs even in Canberra bulk bill pensioners.
    The pom
    23rd Oct 2017
    I have been lucky enough to have the same doctor for 30 years, and he is very good. I wouldn't dream of going to anybody else as this doctor has saved my life at least twice by being able to diagnose life threatening illness whilst still in early stage. He keeps up to date with modern practice, and is a picture of health himself. He has a sense of humour and is a pleasure to visit. I am not a time waster so visits are only as long as they need to be. He is much younger than me as I am well into my eighties, so there is a chance he may be around to last me out.
    23rd Oct 2017
    I believe that my GP and his colleagues provide an excellent service across the board in a busy practice. Flu injections are free (I suppose bulk billed). The treatment room is staffed by highly competent nurses who have also assisted me with wound dressing for a badly grazed elbow caused by a fall. Again all at no cost (bulk billed).
    Where I have used a local pharmacy for advice and assistance, this too has been a first class service at no charge.
    I think the article provides advice which may be useful in certain circumstances and locations, but for my local setup I will still predominantly utilise the doctor.
    23rd Oct 2017
    This sounds suspiciously like an advertorial for PharmaSave?
    23rd Oct 2017
    Sounds like a great idea but on the other hand with an influx of foreigners running chemist and other outlets I DO NOT TRUST THEM. I've downloaded and saved copies on fraud committed by them.

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