Green Cross Health is launching a free throat screening service at Unichem and Life Pharmacies across New Zealand this winter. The service provides an important first step in determining whether someone with a sore throat has a viral or bacterial infection. The new offering provides another service to the local community and also differentiates itself from the competition.

“In an increasingly competitive market, we need to adapt, change and innovate so we can provide our customers with the best care and advice available,” says Lauren Kilkolly, Professional Services Manager at Green Cross Health.

“Our research tells us that sore throats are very common, with more than 69 per cent of Kiwis reporting that they will get a sore throat once or twice a year.

“Our  pharmacists are highly trained to help customers find solutions when they are feeling under the weather and are happy to provide a GP referral when needed.

“We are proud to be offering a service that strengthens our position as trusted healthcare professionals in the community and as the first port of call when it comes to managing a sore throat.”

Those suffering from a sore throat say that it affects sleeping, eating, socialising, exercising and going to work. Heading to a GP for antibiotics is common, but antibiotics can only help with bacterial infections and eight out of 10 sore throats in adults are because of a virus.  

“When  we are are feeling under the weather, many of us  head straight to the doctor for antibiotics, but this is an unnecessary cost and will lead to a wider health concern. The overuse of antibiotics can adversely impact the effectiveness of antibiotics long term. The more they are prescribed, the more resistant bacteria will become,” says Kilkolly.

The sore throat consultation service will take 10 minutes and be administered by a pharmacist who will help indicate whether the infection is viral or bacterial. If the infection is viral, pharmacists will be able to assist customers to alleviate the symptoms using a wide range of cold and immunity boosting products. If the test result shows that the infection is bacterial, the patient will be referred to a GP. 

The throat screening service will be available at most Unichem and Life Pharmacies from 24 June 2019, and is free for a limited time only. 

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