South Australian pharmacists and pharmacy staff now better protected

Media Release 

Pharmacists and pharmacy staff in South Australia will now be better protected following amendments to the COVID-19 Emergency Response Act 2020 by the South Australian Government.

The amended Bill expands the definition of a prescribed emergency worker to include any person working in a pharmacy covering pharmacists, pharmacy assistants and other workers in a pharmacy.

The Bill also extends to those providing pharmacy services or assisting the provision of those services at a place other than a pharmacy.

Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA) South Australia Branch President Robyn Johns welcomed the announcement that will ensure pharmacy workers are better protected in South Australia.

“We now have extremely strong protection for all pharmacists and pharmacy teams in South Australia and I am grateful for the Health Minister’s support for this amendment,” she says.

“Pharmacists and pharmacy staff have been among those frontline health workers who have at times been abused by members of the public during the COVID-19 pandemic and this sort of behaviour is not okay.

“It is important that all pharmacists and pharmacy staff delivering essential health care services to the community feel safe in the workplace and I am glad the South Australian Government have declared zero tolerance for any abusive behaviour.”

PSA National President Associate Professor Chris Freeman has continually called on all state and territory Governments to implement strong legislation that protects pharmacists, pharmacy staff and other health care workers against abuse from members of the public.

PSA wrote to the South Australian Government asking for pharmacists and pharmacy staff to be protected from abuse through legislation.

Those found guilty of abusing emergency services workers in South Australia face up to 15 years in prison which is the toughest penalty in the country.

Text by: Pharmaceutical Society of Australia