New Healthcare Funding Could Pave Way for Greater Access to Community Care

On February 7, Canada’s Premieres and Prime Minster Trudeau met to negotiate new healthcare funding for the provinces and territories, in the form of increased Canada Health Transfers (CHTs) as well as individual bilateral arrangements. This funding is intended to bolster jurisdictions’ strained health system capacity by increasing timely access to care, mobilizing health human resources, investing in mental health services and modernizing health records systems to improve care.
“The announcement of $198B for healthcare in Canada signals an acknowledgment of the need to greatly increase ease of access to healthcare. To ensure that Canada has a resilient, modernized and sustainable healthcare system, all components must operate to their fullest potential,” says Sandra Hanna, CEO. “We are encouraged with the range of new potential opportunities to contribute to health systems that can provide accessible and timely healthcare services to Canadians right in their own communities.”
Canada’s neighbourhood pharmacies serve as community health hubs, providing healthcare closer to home. In addition to dispensing and medication management services, pharmacies across the country offer minor ailments assessment, prescribing abilities, vaccinations, and point of care testing to screen for diseases or monitor chronic conditions, to varying degrees. With so many Canadians unable to access a family doctor, expanding the community care services pharmacies can offer will reduce some of the pressures on the primary care system. And, with more than half of Canadians diagnosed with a chronic disease, increasing pharmacy’s ability to manage these conditions and help keep Canadians well will keep more patients out of acute care and overcrowded emergency rooms. Pharmacies are well positioned to deliver services in communities across the country while modernizing data and ensuring that new dollars are being spent to their fullest potential.
“Pharmacies are the most accessible aspect of our healthcare system making them well positioned to deliver timely access to support patient wellness”, says Hanna. “We are excited to work with our governments and stakeholders in a holistic and collaborative manner to continue to leverage the pivotal role pharmacies can play in ensuring that Canadians have timely access to care and treatment in their own communities.”

Read the Health Canada Backgrounder.