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UTI trial supporting NSW women: Park

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A NSW UTI trial giving pharmacists more power to treat infection is surpassing projections, Health Minister Ryan Park has said.
NSW UTI trial

There have been almost 12,000 urinary tract infection (UTI) consultations in pharmacies since a NSW trial launched in May last year.

The trial program gives patients access to UTI treatment via select pharmacies, without needing to go to a GP.

Eligible patients can also access resupplies of the contraceptive pill at pharmacies as part of the trial.

NSW Health Minister Ryan Park said the trial, which is aimed at easing demand on GPs, is “progressing well,” with “better than expected” uptake.

NSW UTI trial

Over 1,000 pharmacies, including 14 ACT sites, are involved in the trial.

The program means women aged 18-65 with symptoms of an “uncomplicated UTI” can receive treatment from a trained pharmacist. Pharmacy-issued resupplies of the pill are available to 18 to 35-year-olds who have been prescribed the pill for at least two years.

Outside of the trial, patients seeking UTI treatment and the contraceptive pill typically have to visit a GP to be prescribed medication.

UTI trials across Australia

Multiple recent trials have been launched around the country to improve access to UTI and other treatments and ease pressure on GPs.

For example, participating pharmacies in Queensland can now prescribe the contraceptive pill, UTI treatment, asthma medication, and treatments for mild skin condition treatments.

A UTI management trial was launched in South Australian chemists on Friday.

The NSW trial is expected to expand to treat minor skin conditions soon.

Opposition

The Australian Medical Association has raised safety concerns over pharmacy-issued UTI treatment.

It surveyed over 1,300 doctors in 2022 and found that at least 240 patients experienced health complications from misdiagnosis after being treated for a UTI by a pharmacist.

AMA said at least six pregnant women were given unsafe medication. Missed cancer diagnoses and sexually transmitted infections were also said to have been incorrectly characterised as a UTI.

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