Applause as pharmacist shows officials the door

It was the last thing Queensland pharmacist Robert McKay needed as he struggled to cope in the aftermath of Cyclone Debbie.

He was busy in his Proserpine pharmacy, helping patients who had lost medicines. He had no staff. Lighting consisted of just two fluorescent tubes and torches.

Enter two Queensland Health bureaucrats. They demanded proof that the cold chain had been maintained for refrigerated medications.

He had a generator  — bought “at considerable expense” — that kept the medication fridge going thoughout.

He also had eskies “chock-a-block” with ice bricks as back-up.

“They could see we were working under very difficult circumstances.

Mr McKay’s careful planning meant the pharmacy had been able to save over half of its refrigerated stock.

But the Queensland health bureaucrats didn’t see it that way. They