Pharmacy Team Relief Fund

You may be aware that some well-earned respite is available for community pharmacy teams who have been at the front line of the COVID-19 pandemic response through a Ministry of Health Relief Fund administered by Council.

This will update you on the relief fund progress, advise that applications for the next tranche of funding is now sought and technicians most are needed to help the required relief.


Tranche One (about $0.5 million) has now been fully allocated and we are pleased to advise that relief for some pharmacy teams is now happening.  We have received over a 100 applications for the first tranche, which has meant most of the $0.5 million has been allocated. As was the intention of the Fund it is helping community pharmacy teams that meet such criteria as: working in a community pharmacy; providing services to Māori and/or pacific peoples; possibly working as a sole practitioner; and those in independent, or independent franchise-held pharmacies.

For the most part, pharmacy employers have been able to source their own pharmacists and technicians to provide relief. To support the Fund, we have also been helping to find pharmacists and technicians for some pharmacy employers.  We are currently struggling to find about 10 to 15 technicians for pharmacy employers seeking their services.

Applications for the Pharmacy Team Relief Fund Tranche 2

The Fund is being administered in three tranches of funding.  With the first now allocated, we are making the second tranche of $0.5 million available.  If you did not apply under the first tranche (or were not successful) please apply now  for the second tranche (those who applications that were unsuccessful can automatically have their first application used for the second tranche if they confirm they wish to have that happen).

Applications to Tranche 2 Funding can be made here.

Please note:

  • The process for tranche 2 applications will close 15 November 2020. A third and final tranche of funding is then likely to be open for applications in the first quarter of 2021.  We will inform you when that process opens for application.
  • Once a pharmacy has a successful application, no further application for that pharmacy should be made.
  • Applications will be prioritised according to criteria outlined in the Pharmacy Team Relief Fund Policy and Process. The policy for the second tranche has been refined by setting an upper limit to the relief available for any one pharmacy license, to help ensure as many pharmacy teams needing relief have the opportunity. The upper limit is set to 3-5 days for pharmacist relief, and 3-5 days for technician relief.

Council has taken action to separate the administration of the Fund and will not use the information provided by applicants for regulatory purposes. We will protect the privacy of the information we receive and use it only for the relief fund. We are confident this will allay any concerns in the sector about the Council’s role in bringing relief to over-stretched community pharmacy teams.

Offers to provide Pharmacist or Technician Services

Some pharmacy teams are unable to source pharmacists or technicians who are available to provide relief.  We need more pharmacist or technicians who are willing to be relievers, which may necessitate traveling to other parts of the country.  Funding is made available to meet travel and accommodation costs.  We are in greatest need for technicians, so if you have a technician (perhaps part time) and could ‘lend’ them to another pharmacy for a short time, or if you know a technician with work availability, we need their help urgently.

Any pharmacist or technician with work availability please click here.

If this email does not apply to you, but you know of a pharmacist or technician who may be in need of relief, or could provide relief, please forward this email to them.

Thank you
Pharmacy Council

Click the link for more information on
applying to the Pharmacy Team Relief Fund
(Includes links to the Fund Policy and Process and the Application Form)

Click the link for more information on
offering to provide pharmacist or technician services

(Includes links to the Fund Policy and Process, Pharmacist Offer of Assistance form and the Technician Offer of Assistance form)