The wait for free rapid antigen tests for Queensland’s concession card holder has been extended. Although a national cabinet plans to start the free RATs from today, a lack of supply to local pharmacies may be an issue. Officials from pharmacies say that the out-of-stock status is still pretty much existent.
Most pharmacies in Queensland are still struggling to get their shelves filled with RATs. Although the concession card holders will be getting free tests that was planned to start from today, the chances that a card holder would get a test today is bleak.
Under the national cabinet’s scheme, certain individuals can avail 10 free RATs for a span of three months. Also, they can get 5 RATs in a single month as well. People who are covered under this scheme are concession card holders, senior healthcare card holders, DVA gold, orange and white card holders, as well as low income card holders. Health care card holders also benefit from this scheme.
The cost incurred to the pharmacies will be reimbursed. The state governments as well as the Commonwealth will share the expenses 50/50. A statement by the Prime Minister, Scott Morrison at the beginning of January saying that free RATs will be easily available from the 24th still resounds in the ears of the card holders.
Chris Owen, the president of the Queensland branch of the Pharmacy Guild of Australia, says that people should check social media for any upcoming updates regarding the availability of the tests. He further mentioned that pharmacies are struggling under the dearth and are facing multiple goliaths at a single time – lack of supply, staff shortages, and more.
The blame game is interesting to watch as well with the PM pointing the finger at Commonwealth for not supplying adequate RATs to pharmacies. He said that the state clinics should be sufficient for the masses. Pharmacies are not the first place to go for a rapid antigen test.
Supply for RATs are looking to improve over the coming two weeks. Chris Owen, lastly stated that his own business is out of RAT stock since the 28th of December.