This week, a video from one of the hosts of KiisFM’s The Thinkergirls attracted the angry attention of health professionals.
During a visit to a pharmacy, co-host Kristie Mercer posted a video to Facebook on Tuesday questioning why it takes so long to receive a script.
“I have to entertain myself because there’s a 15-minute wait on getting a script. What the f***? Like, I’m sorry, what is the hold up on the process? You hand over your prescription and they’re like, ‘Sure, there’ll be a 15-minute wait, here’s your little buzzer and we’ll be with you in 15′,” she said in the clip, which had been viewed more than 60,000 times before it was taken down yesterday.
"Like, what is happening? I can see the medicine behind you, it’s like two metres away. Just grab it off the shelf and press print on the old sticker printer, slap it on and away we go. Is there some kind of magical process that’s taking place back there? Because I’m very intrigued as to why it takes so long."
She went on suggest that it's a ploy to get customers walking around and purchasing other items while they wait.
Unsurprisingly, pharmacists and doctors alike were quick to jump on the post and express their frustration at these kind of comments.
In a segment on their radio show yesterday, Mercer issued an apology about the clip, saying she "regrets if anyone was made to feel undervalued and apologises for it coming across that way."
Of course as a customer, waiting for a service can be frustrating. But rather than a complaint about wait times, Mercer's rant highlights a wider problem with our views on pharmacists: a lack of public knowledge about what they actually do.
"Often there is a misunderstanding from the public about what a pharmacist does and what the process is. The pharmacist is responsible for ensuring the medicine is safe and appropriate for an individual," explains Shane Jackson, President of the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia.
This means that despite working alongside and playing an equally vital role in the healthcare system as GPs and nurses, pharmacists often aren't given the same level of respect or weight.