Thursday, June 1, 2023

For 21 minor ailments and a few other needs, the Pharmacist is now IN!

Today marks a new step for health care in the province , with Pharmacists now among the listings of health care providers for residents of British Columbia.

As of this morning, participating pharmacists in a new health program will be able to assess and treat up to 21 minor ailments as well as to prescribe contraceptives. The shift in health care options comes as part of the provincial plan to reduce the stresses on the short supply of family doctors.

The List of 21 health care themes where you can check in at the pharmacy include:

To access the new minor ailment and prescription contraception service, B.C. residents with a Personal Health Number (PHN) can visit a pharmacy in person or call to schedule an appointment.

The province has put in place a self-assessment check list for those with ailments to consult to determine what is best for their needs at that moment.

Later this month, the province will introduce an online appointment option, which will be similar to the Get Vaccinated system that people used to book COVID-19 and influenza vaccination appointments. 

People will be able to locate pharmacies that offer the service they need, be referred to a self-assessment guide to make sure the service is suitable for them, then proceed to book an appointment with the pharmacy of their choice. 

“This new booking system will make B.C. the first jurisdiction in Canada to offer a provincewide online booking system to see a pharmacist, which will make it easier for people in B.C. to see their pharmacist,” -- British Columbia Health Minister Adrian Dix

The list of Pharmacies in the Prince Rupert area can be reviewed here.

North Coast MLA Jennifer Rice who is also the Parliamentary Secretary for Rural Health noted of how it will help reduce the burden on health care in communities outside of larger centres.

“The expansion of pharmacists’ scope of practice in British Columbia is a significant step toward improving health-care access for residents, especially in rural and remote areas. By providing pharmacists with the ability to prescribe medications for minor ailments and other common health concerns, we are reducing the burden on small doctors’ offices in rural communities and helping more people get the medications they need faster.”

More on the province's roll out of the new pharmacy care program can be found from the announcement of Wednesday.

A wider overview of health themes in the Northern Health region can be explored here.

Items of interest from the Legislature can be reviewed here.

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