Southbank’s only community pharmacy, hidden in plain sight
For one of Australia’s most densely populated suburbs, it’s peculiar to realise Southbank’s clear absence of pharmacies in general, but more particularly community pharmacies.
Pharmacies play a crucial in our national health system. They provide medicines vital for our daily needs, they determine what medicines are available in the market, and who should have access to them, and importantly, they provide health advice that eases the burden for hospitals, general practitioners (GP) and the broader health care system.
Finding a great pharmacist is just like finding a great GP, dentist, or physio. They become a part of your routine, they become a part of your health defence and they become a part of your life.
While it may be a little tricky to locate Southgate Pharmacy, Southbank’s only community pharmacy, it hasn’t stopped owner and pharmacist, Angelo Bonacci, providing sound advice and service to Southbankers for more than 20 years.
You find Southgate Pharmacy tucked away on the podium level of Southgate shopping centre, accessed by the steps at the base of The Langham or via the escalators from Southbank Promenade.
According to Mr Bonacci, he is finding residents aren’t just after a product or prescription, they are after a service, one that they can trust and know their health is in safe hands.
“A lot of people come to us with ailments, and they aren’t too sure how to handle it,” he said.
We are effectively a triage service that can advise them whether there is nothing to worry about or that they may need to see a doctor. We provide an important bridge between locals and other health services.
“It’s not just general prescription needs, we can answer questions about medications, blood pressure, we are looking at adding vaccinations in the future, we are agents for the National Diabetes Services Scheme (NDSS), we currently offer free local delivery, we offer dose administration aids … we can service your general health needs whether it’s allergies or asthma.”
A lot has changed in Southbank during the past 20 years since Southgate Pharmacy was first established. Eureka Tower, Australia 108, and Freshwater Place hadn’t been built.
In that time, the local population has grown by more than 17,000 residents, who Mr Bonacci said would need the support, advice and service of a community pharmacist.
“Over those years, we’ve built up relationships within the community, and that is an incredibly important thing, because we know your health needs and we know what advice you will require,” Mr Bonacci said.
“At Southgate, we have our own mini health hub. We have the optometrist here, we have the GP here, and we have a pharmacy. We have a great relationship with these businesses and will refer customers to them and them to us.”
“To the loyal group of local residents who helped us through the pandemic, and I want to thank you. Without them we might not be here today.” •