Public meetings to discuss setting up pharmacies in the north and south Mainland will shortly be held in both areas.
The first meeting will be at Levenwick Public Hall at 7pm next Thursday and the other, also at 7pm, will take place at the Brae Hotel a week later, on 23rd.
Both areas have only one pharmacy proposal each to consider, and in both cases the pharmacies, if approved, would be in the local health centres.
In Levenwick the application is from LP Health Ltd, whose directors are the Levenwick GPs Aileen Brown and Mark Maudsley.
In Brae it is from Deltingpharm, directed by Paul Scott, the lone GP at Brae Health Centre.
Once public opinion has been gauged, the proposals will go before the Pharmacy Practices Committee, a group composed of lay members of the public and representatives from pharmacies in and outwith Shetland.
The proposals would then need approval from the Pharmaceutical Society before the pharmacies could actually open.
The pharmacies would be commercial ventures open five-and-a-half days a week, including some time on Saturdays.
They would offer over the counter medicines as well as a minor ailment service and public health services such as emergency contraception, which the public could access without making an appointment.
Unlike the current dispensaries at health centres, where staff have some training but do not have to be regulated, pharmacies would have to employ a pharmacist who would be regulated by the profession.
• All members of the public who are interested in pharmacy applications in their areas are invited to attend the meetings. For further information contact Lisa Sutherland on (01595) 743209 or email firstname.lastname@example.org