Introduction: The CTG PBS co-payment measure was introduced by the Australian Government in July 2010 to help close the gap by assisting Aboriginal and Torres Strait islander people gain access to PBS medications by reducing or removing the co-payment associated with the cost of PBS medications. As part of the Improving Indigenous Access to Mainstream Primary Care Program it was decided to perform a scoping study on the readiness of pharmacies to support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people including the CTG PBS Co-Payment Measure. This was the first time a holistic cross-sectional study of this kind was conducted in an urban environment, supported by the Institute for Urban Indigenous Health.
Method: The program officer distributed 67 surveys to pharmacy staff throughout pharmacies evenly distributed within the Metro North PHN catchment. This comprised of approximately 30% of all pharmacies within this region. The CTG team chose a quantitative and qualitative research model. The majority of questions were multiple choice, however the survey also made room for additional answers and comments with an ‘other’ selection, where pharmacy staff could provide a more descriptive opinion. Each pharmacy was also personally visited by an Indigenous Outreach Worker who presented the survey and assessed the overall preparedness of the community pharmacy to support Aboriginal and Torres Island People.
Summary of Results