Daniel Andrews has promised voters he will revolutionize access to healthcare as part of an ambitious plan just days before Victoria’s general election.
The PM made the announcement alongside Health Secretary Mary Anne Thomas on Wednesday morning in St Albans, west Melbourne.
The 12-month, $19 million pilot will expand the role of pharmacists in the community in treating issues like UTIs starting mid-next year.
Pharmacists would be paid $20 per consultation, but patients would have to pay no more than the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme co-payment for needed medications.
Mr Andrews said the pilot is an efficient way to unblock GP services and continue using pharmacists across the state.
“If you wake up and feel sick or run out of your prescription medication, there’s no use being unable to come to your GP for more than a week,” he said.
“Community pharmacists have a wealth of knowledge and experience – it just makes sense to expand their role.
“It will ensure Victorians get the care they need in a timely manner while saving families money and taking the pressure off GPs.”
The government also announced a plan to attract junior doctors into general practice.
Mr Andrews said if Labor were re-elected he would spend $32 million to provide financial incentives for doctors who enroll in the general practitioner training program over two years.
This would include a top-up payment of $30,000 for first-year trainees and $10,000 per trainee towards the cost of their first-year exams.
The announcement comes as opposition leader Matthew Guy pledged to bring public transport flat fares forward by $2 by six months to January 1.
The daily flat rate cap means that public transport users have to pay a single daily charge for their Myki ride for the rest of the day at no additional cost.
Originally published as Giant Health Pledge by Daniel Andrews