TORONTO, ON (April 5, 2022) — The Ontario Pharmacists Association (OPA) welcomes the government of Ontario’s proposal to expanding pharmacists’ scope of practice to assess and treat minor ailments, such as pink eye, eczema, and urinary tract infections for patients across the province.
With the expansion of pharmacy services including to assess and treat minor ailments, Ontario is taking an important step forward to improving access to care for Ontarians. Previously, patients who needed help for the treatment of minor ailments would have to visit their primary care provider, walk-in clinic, or a local hospital. In many cases, this means waiting days for an appointment or hours in a walk-in clinic or emergency department.
With the government of Ontario taking this important step to have pharmacists work within their full scope or practice, Ontario will improve patient access, convenience, and equity to healthcare services, especially those in rural and remote areas of the province. It will also help our healthcare partners including our doctors, nurses, and healthcare workers by freeing up their time to focus on more complex care cases.
Pharmacists already have the clinical training and expertise needed to treat minor ailments such as pink eye, eczema, and urinary tract infections, among many others, and will be able to quickly step up to support Ontarians, just as they do in 8 other provinces across Canada. OPA also has accredited training and refresher educational programs in place to ensure all pharmacists are comfortable, capable, and confident in their performance of assessments and treatment of patients with minor ailments.
Throughout the pandemic, pharmacies have remained open and accessible while pharmacy professionals have provided reliable and consistent frontline care to patients. Pharmacy professionals across the province administered over 7 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines and delivered over 800,000 publicly funded COVID-19 PCR tests.
OPA is pleased to see that patients will have greater access to care and that pharmacy professionals will continue to play an important role in the health care system while improving overall health outcomes to individuals and communities.
The Ontario Pharmacists Association is committed to evolving the pharmacy profession and advocating for excellence in practice and patient care. With more than 10,000 members, OPA is Canada’s largest advocacy organization, professional development and drug information provider for pharmacy professionals across Ontario. By leveraging the unique expertise of pharmacy professionals, enabling them to practice to their fullest potential, and making them more accessible to patients, OPA is working to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the healthcare system. The pharmacy sector plays a strong role in Ontario with an economic impact of more than $6.3 billion across 4,600 pharmacies, employing 60,000 Ontarians. For more information on OPA, visit https://www.opatoday.com.