Photo: Birdsville Primary Health Centre Director of Nursing Jess O’Dea.

Thousands of visitors heading to popular outback tourist events in remote Central Western communities in coming months are being reminded to carry adequate stocks of their usual prescription medications.

Birdsville Primary Health Centre Director of Nursing Jess O’Dea said visitors to the far western regions should remember no pharmacies were available in remote areas of the state and regular medications may be difficult to obtain.

“As a rule, when you are travelling anywhere, you need to carry adequate stock of your prescription medications for your entire trip,’’ she said.

“So, plan and be prepared ahead of time, with adequate medications, prescriptions and have a letter with your medical history from your doctor in case you require medical services.

“When you require a script to be filled in these remote areas it can be problematic as the closest pharmacy to Birdsville is either Charleville or Mount Isa and there may be a significant delay in obtaining your medication from these areas as they also only carry a limited supply.

“The delay in getting medication to you may be as long as a week.

“Depending on how important regular daily intake of your medication is, this could easily turn into a medical emergency if you have to go some days without it.

“Although our primary health centres, like Birdsville, don’t have pharmacies, we can respond to emergencies and non-life-threatening conditions where you may require medications such as a course of antibiotics.’’

Ms O’Dea said visitors also should remember to carry documentation such as Medicare and concession cards.

She said the round of popular outback events would begin in mid-July with the Big Red Bash, the Boulia Camel Races in late July and the world-famous Birdsville Races in early September.

“Multiple events during the months through to September can add pressures on the health services in our areas as there is a significant surge in population,’’ she said.

The Central West communities most affected include Boulia, Bedourie, Windorah, Jundah, Stonehenge, Isisford, Tambo, Muttaburra, Aramac and Birdsville.

Ms O’Dea said the health facilities in these communities were all primary health centres which had nurses available for routine primary care services from Monday to Friday and which provided a 24-hour emergency response service through the triple zero system.

“Being well prepared prior to travel limits the need to access non-emergency services,’’ she said.

“With the heavy rains earlier this year, Lake Eyre and the Channel Country have become tourist magnets, so we are expecting higher than average numbers to travel through in the coming months.’’

Ms O’Dea said all emergencies should be placed through the triple zero (000) system 24-hours a day, seven days a week so care could be provided safely, quickly and efficiently for the best possible outcome.

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