A dozen N.S. pharmacies to provide more medical services as part of pilot program  – Halifax

Nova Scotia is spending about $1 million on a pilot project that will allow pharmacists to see patients with common illnesses, as well as prescribe and manage medications for more ailments.

The project, called the Community Pharmacy Primary Care Clinics program, will be piloted in 12 pharmacies in the province and begin offering appointments Feb. 1.

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More locations will be added in the spring, according to the province.

“We need to change how we deliver health care to help Nova Scotians get the care they need faster,” said Michelle Thompson, health and wellness minister, in a release.

She added that pharmacists are highly-trained professionals and the province needs to build a system where they can use their training and skills.

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“In doing this, we will help people stay well, and free up emergency departments for emergencies,” she said.

The clinics will give pharmacists dedicated time to see patients with common illnesses and people who are on medications for chronic diseases, which could include diabetes, cardiovascular disease, lung disease, asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

Click to play video: 'Pharmacists Association of N.S. adjusted scope of practice'

Pharmacists Association of N.S. adjusted scope of practice

The pharmacists at the clinics will also be able to assess and prescribe for 31 minor ailments — such as eczema and cold sores — as well as test, diagnose and treat strep throat.

“These clinics will be a quicker, easier way for people to get care and stay healthy,” said Allison Bodnar, the CEO of the Pharmacy Association of Nova Scotia, in a release.

“We are thrilled pharmacists will be able to practise to their full scope and be part of the solution for better health care in our province.”

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Meanwhile, the CEO and registrar of the Nova Scotia College of Pharmacists, Beverly Zwicker, called the project “the right thing to do” to make better use of the existing health workforce.

“This is an important shift in health-care delivery as we work towards solutions for our current crisis and supporting Nova Scotians in getting the right care, from the right person, at the right time,” Zwicker said.

The pharmacy locations are:

  • Shoppers Drug Mart, 118 Wyse Rd., Dartmouth
  • Guardian Bedford, 535 Larry Uteck Blvd., Bedford
  • North Sydney PharmaChoice, 107 King St., North Sydney
  • Shoppers Drug Mart, 254 Prince St., Sydney
  • Shoppers Drug Mart, 912 East River Rd., New Glasgow
  • The Medicine Shoppe, 664 Prince St., Truro
  • Wilsons Pharmasave, 213 Commercial St., Berwick
  • Bridgewater Guardian Pharmacy, 42 Glen Allan Dr., Bridgewater
  • Shoppers Drug Mart, 1124 Bridge St., Greenwood
  • TLC Pharmasave, 157 Water St., Shelburne
  • City Drug Store, 369 Main St., Yarmouth
  • Brookline Pharmacy at 105-6 Bloom Lane, Bedford (appointments starting later in February)

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