By Jordan Wilson
The retail giant conirmed to the ABC that it was responsible for job ads seeking pharmacy graduates, students and nurses for an in-store health check program.
However, the supermarket issued a statement later saying that the jobs ads, which were published through a marketing company, were not for its program.
A Woolworths spokesman said only qualified nurses were conducting its supermarket-aisle health checks.
The job advertisements on employment website Seek.com, posted by a company called XPO Brands, said the company is looking for “final year pharmacy students, graduate pharmacists and entry level nurses” to conduct checks such as blood pressure and cholesterol, and “engage in general health discussions”.
It says it wants someone who is “a real people person and happy to talk to shoppers passing by”.
Australia’s Pharmacy Board investigating safety of in-store check-ups
Earlier, the Pharmacy Board of Australia said it would investigate reports pharmacy students and graduates were being recruited to work in the Woolworths trial.
The Pharmacy Board, which sets standards for pharmacists, said students and graduates could be putting their registration at risk by working for Woolworths.
In a statement issued few days ago, a board spokeswman said pharmacy graduates who have provisional registration for their one-year internship after university can only practice under supervision in approved locations with an approved supervisor.
“Any other sort of practise as a pharmacist would be in breach of their registration requirements,” she said.
Pharmacy graduates and students are not allowed to “hold themselves out” as a registered pharmacist or indicate they are qualified if they are not.
They can only gain registration after they have completed a one-year internship following study.
Pharmacy guild says Woolworths plans to “hoodwink” customers
The Pharmacy Guild of Australia has said it is concerned about the move, saying it is an attempt by the supermarket to “hoodwink consumers into believing they can get professional pharmacist advice and products from a supermarket”.
Pharmacy businesses are protected by rules that allow them to have a monopoly on dispensing prescription drugs.
A spokesman for Woolworths says the staff providing health checks do not offer medical or product advice and are just another thing they can do for their customers.
The original article was posted on ABC News.