TORONTO, ON (December 28, 2022) —The Ontario Pharmacists Association (OPA) is thrilled that starting January 1, 2023, patients across Ontario can visit their local pharmacist to assess and prescribe medication for minor conditions, such as pink eye, eczema, and urinary tract infections.
By expanding pharmacists’ scope of practice to assess and treat 13 minor ailments, Ontario is taking an important step to improve access to healthcare for Ontarians. Patients can count on local pharmacists – the most accessible healthcare providers in Ontario – to help keep them healthy and safe in every neighbourhood across the province.
Until now, patients have had to visit their primary care provider, walk-in clinic, or a local hospital to treat minor ailments.
Patients can simply call their local pharmacy to make an appointment or go to their nearest pharmacy during regular hours and speak to their pharmacist. Patients must present a valid Ontario health card to access this publicly funded service provided by the Government of Ontario. Patients are not required to pay a fee.
“Empowering pharmacists to use their expertise to assess and treat minor ailments helps patients get the care they need sooner and closer to home – but the benefits go much further,” says Justin Bates, CEO, Ontario Pharmacists Association. “It reduces demand on hospitals, emergency departments, walk-in clinics, and family physicians. It also frees up time for our healthcare partners, allowing doctors, nurses, and other healthcare providers 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, or urinary tract infections, among many others. The 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.
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.