Canada's more than 11,500 pharmacies serve as vital community health hubs in virtually every community in Canada, providing crucial links in the primary healthcare system, and delivering critical, uninterrupted care in a coordinated way with other healthcare providers.
Our position on how pharmacies create capacity in primary care:
- Pharmacies are the first and often most frequent point of contact patients have with the healthcare system. Pharmacists are on the frontlines. They deliver critical services, including medication therapies, disease management and innovative solutions in urban, rural, remote and First Nations communities across Canada. More can be done to leverage the role of trusted, accessible, clinically educated pharmacists to alleviate backlogs and create capacity in primary care.
- By enabling point of care testing in community pharmacies, pharmacists can screen for infectious diseases and monitor chronic disease therapies - with shorter turnaround times. Offering this testing in pharmacies will allow expedited decision-making and increase patient care efficiency. Pharmacists should also have access to laboratory results and electronic medical records to ensure continuity of care and promote collaborative care.
- Pharmacists can assess for, prescribe and initiate medication therapy for common ailments and conditions in most jurisdictions. Patients appreciate the ability to receive prompt care for minor ailments at their pharmacy, and studies have shows that this is an efficient use of health system resources. All jurisdictions should allow pharmacists to provide this service to their patients.
- Fair, sustainable remuneration is vital for pharmacies. It supports the training and infrastructure needed to preserve and promote continuous delivery of the critical pharmacy services that Canadians and local healthcare systems rely on heavily.
Please also refer to our other position statements and toolkits falling under the umbrella of positioning pharmacy as a community health hub.