Emergency Locum Service
The Emergency Locum Service provides support to Pharmacists in rural and remote areas through direct access to Pharmacist locums in emergency situations such as illness, bereavement, or family emergencies. The service provides up to $2,500 (GST exclusive) to fund the travel costs of Pharmacist locums to attend a rural or remote Pharmacy, as well as 24-hour/seven-day access to emergency locum telephone services. The service aims to place a locum in any location in Australia within 24 hours, for a maximum of seven days.
This service is only available to rural Pharmacy owners in true emergencies; for example, the death of a Pharmacist, spouse or family member, or personal emergencies such as sickness or accident. The service is not available for holidays or other non-essential absences. To be eligible, Pharmacies must be located in a rural or remote location, defined as Pharmacy Accessibility Remoteness Index of Australia(PhARIA) Category 2 to Category 6. The PhARIA index can be found on the PhARIA website.
The Emergency Locum Service provides up to $2,500 (GST exclusive) to cover all travel costs between the locum’s home and the location of the locum placement. The Pharmacy is responsible for the locum’s accommodation and wages.
Emergency Locum Service FAQ
Me/our pharmacist is self-isolating for 14 days, can the ELS program be extended to cover this whole period?ExpandClose
The Department has advised that in the event that a pharmacist is:
- Isolating themselves at home on the advice of a medical practitioner, for confirmed COVID-19; or
- Meeting the current national triage protocol criteria for suspected COVID-19 infection after consultation with either the national COVID-19 hotline, state COVID-19 hotlines, a registered medical or nursing practitioner or COVID-19 trained health clinic triage staff
then the maximum placement duration is extended to fourteen consecutive days.
How do I apply for an emergency locum?ExpandClose
You can make an application for an emergency locum at the ELS Provider website or by telephone on 1800 357 001.
Who is eligible to apply for an emergency locum?ExpandClose
A Pharmacy must be:
- A Community Pharmacy
- Located in a rural or remote location
- Unable to undertake dispensing duties or to fully and effectively operate the Pharmacy due to an emergency situation.
What classifies as a rural or remote area?ExpandClose
Eligible locations are classified as having a PhARIA rating between 2-6 inclusive. A full list of PhARIA locations is located here.
What classifies as an emergency situation?ExpandClose
An emergency situation is defined as:
- The Pharmacist is unable to undertake dispensing duties or to fully and effectively operate the Pharmacy due to illness or injury.
- A family emergency requires the Pharmacist to be present at an alternate location, or take action that renders themselves unavailable to undertake dispensing duties or to fully and effectively operate the Pharmacy. A family emergency is defined as:
- Illness or injury to a member of immediate family
- Illness or injury to a dependant relative
- Bereavement due to a death of a member of immediate family.
How much funding is available under the ELS Program?ExpandClose
Funding is available up to $2,500 (GST exclusive) each time you use the ELS program. There is no limit to the amount of times you can access the Program each year.
How long can I have a locum under the Program?ExpandClose
ELS placements are for a minimum of one day and a maximum of seven days.
What are the opening hours for ELS?ExpandClose
ELS can be contacted anytime 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
What can I use the funding from ELS to pay for?ExpandClose
ELS funding is only intended to be used to contribute to the travel costs between the locum’s home and the Pharmacy location. Other costs such as locum wages, meals etc. will not be covered.
Do I have input into which locum is placed at my Pharmacy?ExpandClose
No, locum placements are organised by the current ELS provider and the Program Rules stipulate that applicants must accept the locum provided to them.
What hourly rate do I need to offer the locum?ExpandClose
Under the terms of the ELS the rate is $60/hr + superannuation.
What sort of accommodation do I need to provide the locum?ExpandClose
Accommodation needs to be of a reasonable standard, e.g. a self-contained unit or hotel/motel/guesthouse.