One in two Australians now have a chronic disease and one in four have at least two chronic health diseases.
In Central Hume: diabetes, heart disease, and respiratory conditions (COPD – Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease and Asthma) are the high prevalence diseases.
Local community pharmacies and pharmacists are the first point of call for clients, the health professional who sees clients most frequently (at least once a month to fill prescriptions for regular medications) and are a free consultation service. Pharmacists can contribute to monitoring of clients in between GP and specialist appointments, and should be seen as part of the whole primary health care team.
There is anecdotal evidence that service providers and communities in the Central Hume catchment, under-utilise pharmacies in primary health care, particularly in relation to chronic conditions due to a poor awareness of their role and scope of practice.