pharmacy staff face abuse

Jackson Lavell-LeeBusselton Dunsborough Times
Discount Drug Stores Busselton over the counter staff Priya Scott and Tayla Conlon monitor customers from the entrance barrier
Camera IconDiscount Drug Stores Busselton over the counter staff Priya Scott and Tayla Conlon monitor customers from the entrance barrier Credit: Jackson Lavell-Lee

Pharmacy workers in the Capes region have been exposed to “extreme stress” with customers abusing staff, panic buying and disregarding Government recommendations for COVID-19.

Busselton Discount Drug Stores barricaded its front door with two staff members, wearing masks, evaluating customers before they enter.

Waiting lists for over the counter medications such as asthma inhalers have become standard with stock now replenished at all major pharmacies. Dunsborough Pharmacy director Linda Keane said customers had lied, threatened and demanded medications which were out of stock in the early days of panic but conditions were improving.

“We’ve been massively busy and no one was expecting the amount of patients or the increase to the workload because of the procedures and questioning,” she said.

“The panic has quietened down now and people are more accepting. We’ve had staff quit because it’s a high-pressure situation, they couldn't cope with the stress of customer pressure and the threat of being infected.”

Dunsborough Pharmacy has added a glass screen and video communications.

“Everyone is putting in measures to keep staff and customers safe,” Ms Keane said.

“We have a home delivery service to make sure our most vulnerable people don’t have to come in.”

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