A new pharmacy located next to Tui Ora Family Health (TOFH) in Maratahu St, New Plymouth is set to be operational by spring. Intended as a pharmaceutical one-stop-shop in combination with TOFH, it is designed to meet all of a client’s primary health needs.
Tui Ora has partnered with Auckland-based SmartMed Pharmacy Group, who have 13 pharmacies in the central North Island, Taranaki, the Bay of Plenty and Auckland.
The pharmacy will occupy the space adjacent to TOFH with construction starting this week. It will offer a core range of retail products, including pain relief, first aid products and natural health remedies as well as the dispensary for prescription medicines.
Initially one full-time pharmacist will run the pharmacy but staff numbers could increase depending on demand.
The pharmacist will work as part of the TOFH team, attending meetings with doctors and nursing staff on a regular basis to exchange information and feedback. Pharmacy hours will mirror the opening hours of TOFH so that clients are able to receive medication as soon as it is prescribed.
SmartMed Director, Saif Ismail is excited about working with Tui Ora:
“Our philosophy is every single whānau is treated as a family. We understand the cultural values of Tui Ora and we share those values. We are looking forward to providing a service that is not just affordable and convenient but one that offers an outstanding level of service.”
In recognition of client needs the pharmacy will offer nicotine replacement therapies (NRT) and methadone for those trying to kick smoking and drug addictions. Anti-psychotic drugs like clozapine will be available to eligible clients with mental health problems.
“We try and break down some of the barriers to our clients getting the care that they need. When it comes to medicine this is sometimes cost and sometimes convenience, or both. We will provide blister packs (that can cost up to five dollars per pack) for free and we will also deliver medicines to homes free of charge.”
General Manager, Business Development & Corporate Development has been spearheading the project for Tui Ora:
“This is an amazing opportunity for Tui Ora clients to have everything they need in one place. The pharmacy will make it easier for people to get the medicines they need in one trip, which makes a lot of sense. A facility like this has been an ambition of Tui Ora for some time and we are looking forward to working with SmartMed."
SmartMed were the first pharmacy group in New Zealand to establish a pharmacy co-located within a Māori healthcare provider with the Te Puna Hauora Clinic on Auckland’s North Shore in 2008. Their experience allowed them to develop a model that catered for Māori patients who often have complex high needs. SmartMed operate three other pharmacies in Taranaki: Lander & Black in New Plymouth, Unichem Ducks in Inglewood and Unichem Bell Block Pharmacy.
A qualified pharmacist, Saif studied at Otago University, after arriving in New Zealand in 1995 with his parents, grandmother, two younger brothers and a sister from war-torn Iraq.