Pharmacists can now assess and prescribe for 13 minor health issues.
Cochrane pharmacist Frank Louvelle says the idea is to reduce the number of visits to emergency rooms, and take some of the load off the health care system.
“We do have restrictions on what we can prescribe,” he emphasizes.” And we do have to refer (to a doctor) for more complicated situations. These minor ailments are all things that don’t really require testing.”
Louvelle says it doesn’t matter whether or not you have a family doctor.
“If you do have a doctor, we always will inform them of whatever assessment we do. It’s not a requirement that you be without a physician to offer these services, for sure.”
The new service came into effect across Ontario on January 1st. The government says it’s to help you get care closer to home, while reducing the number of visits to ERs and taking some of the load off the health care system.
Pharmacists can now offer prescriptions for:
- hay fever (allergic rhinitis)
- oral thrush (candidal stomatitis)
- pink eye (conjunctivitis; bacterial, allergic and viral)
- dermatitis (atopic, eczema, allergic and contact)
- menstrual cramps (dysmenorrhea)
- acid reflux (gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD))
- cold sores (herpes labialis)
- insect bites and hives
- tick bites (post-exposure prophylaxis to prevent Lyme disease)
- sprains and strains (musculoskeletal)
- urinary tract infections (UTIs)
-Source: Government of Ontario