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Pharmacies to run free throat-screening services

Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Monday, 24 June 2019, 11:56AM
The service hopes to remove the burden from over-stretched GPs. (Photo / Getty)

A new initiative hopes to stop our GP's from getting bogged down this winter.

Green Cross Health are going to be running free sore throat screening services this winter at Unichem and Life pharmacies.

It's part of a plan to limit GP visits if they aren't needed, as well as make sure that antibiotics aren't being dished out for any old thing.

Professional services manager at Green Cross Health Lauren Kilkolly told Mike Hosking that this service will allow pharmacists to swab your sore throat to see if it is bacterial or viral. 

"If it's bacterial, they send you back to the doctor. If it's viral, they can give you great recommendations and advice on what to do to mange it."

Viral sore throats are easier to treat than bacterial, and can be more easily treated without seeing the doctor, Kilkolly says.

She says that doctors can't do a lot more than pharmacists if your sore throat is just viral. 

"It means if you do need to go to the doctor, you know that going and making the appointment and spending the $50, it's worth it because you are going to get some antibiotics."

Kilkolly adds that pharmacists are generally open longer and on weekends and are more convenient. 

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