UFS Dispensaries offer free blood pressure checks in Heart Week

UFS Dispensaries is encouraging Ballarat residents to roll up their sleeves for free blood pressure tests during National Heart Week. 

 Pharmacist Bobby Mehta gives Trudy a blood pressure check.

Pharmacist Bobby Mehta gives Trudy a blood pressure check.

All 12 Ballarat stores will offer the five-minute service until May 10 in a bid to raise awareness of heart disease. 

UFS Dispensaries chief pharmacist Bobby Mehta said he had already seen many Ballarat residents get tested this week. 

Mr Mehta said people who were smokers, had excessive alcohol consumption, a diet high in saturated fats, a high salt intake and those who led inactive lives were most at risk of having high blood pressure. 

“The thing with high blood pressure is that it is silent, it is not so easy

to pick up unless you do the test,” Mr Mehta said. 

Ballarat MP Catherine King also visited the Victoria Street pharmacy on Monday to spread the word about the service.

“I encourage anyone with a few minutes to spare this week to take up this opportunity of a free blood pressure test, as identifying the risks early could save your life,” Ms King said. 

Outside of Heart Week, UFS pharmacies can charge between $5 and $10 for a blood pressure test. 

“We are looking at developing services in the future to make them free of charge,” Mr Mehta said. 

“We want to make sure people have access to these services in the community.” 

Mr Mehta said 120/70 was considered a normal blood pressure level, while 140/90 was considered to be high.