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Digital image scripts launched during Covid-19 response

Changes are being rung in as prescriptions go digital in Queensland from Friday 15 May.

Deputy Premier and Minister for Health and Ambulance Services Steven Miles said the change will better align Queensland to the special arrangements recently announced by the Commonwealth Government, that allow supply of PBS medicines through a digital image.

“We have made the necessary regulatory changes so that vulnerable people can have their medicines prescribed by their usual doctor and dispensed and delivered by their usual pharmacy without having to leave their home,” Deputy Premier Miles said.

“This provides Queenslanders more options so they can receive the care they need and reduce the need to leave the house and sit in a waiting room alongside other patients.

“Digital image scripts will allow Queenslanders to visit their usual pharmacy or get medications delivered to their home. This helps to ensure we can keep our community safer particularly those more likely to develop a severe coronavirus infection.

“Telehealth consultations delivered by Queensland Health clinicians have increased during the COVID-19 response.

“These patients will now have their prescription flow handled by modern technology as the old-school fax and follow-up between doctors and pharmacies is replaced by digital copies of prescriptions sent by a choice of modern communication streams.

Deputy Premier Miles said the changes to regulations removed a barrier to bringing Queensland into line with recent Commonwealth special arrangements designed to facilitate the flow of prescriptions between doctors and pharmacists.

“The changes will allow digital images of prescriptions to be sent and dispensed for PBS or private prescriptions, and applies to prescriptions sent by all prescribers.

“Although digital prescriptions are now available, the existing prescription process will stay intact for those still wishing to process their prescriptions as they’ve always done.”

The digital prescription changes will remain in place until the end of September this year, allowing time to further develop technological changes to the prescription process.

“Queensland Health is currently working on ensuring the existing medicines and poisons legislation continues to support patients and health practitioners during the COVID-19 response,” he said.

“Progressing the regulatory changes to allow prescribers to send digital prescriptions directly to pharmacists is part of these efforts.”

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