A BC pharmacist issues and renews prescriptions as part of a health insurance review

British Columbia is expanding the power of pharmacists to renew and issue prescriptions as part of a broader strategy to reduce the burden on primary care physicians and emergency departments.

Starting October 14, pharmacists will be able to administer more vaccines and renew prescriptions for people who have lost their primary care doctor.

Next spring, we plan to start prescribing medication for minor ailments such as urinary tract infections, allergies and indigestion. This eliminates the need for patients to see a doctor first.

This change brings BC in line with other provinces.

The government says prescription renewals for patients without a primary care doctor are left to the discretion of the pharmacist, who can choose to contact the doctor by phone or send the patient for a medical evaluation.

The move comes amid an ongoing health crisis, with emergency departments closed due to understaffing and long waits to see specialists, and about one in five residents without a family doctor. was broken.

The plan will also expand emergency medical training so firefighters and other first responders can take blood pressure, administer medication for life-threatening allergic reactions, and prepare patients for ambulance transport. .

The plan is divided into 70 action items aimed at redesigning the system and retaining, recruiting and training staff in a more efficient manner.

Action items include adding 128 new seats to the University of BC’s medical school and establishing a new medical school at Simon Fraser University in Burnaby.

Redesigning the system will include establishing clear workload standards, using technology more efficiently and adopting a team-based model of care, the government said.

It is also committed to lowering the “artificial barriers” to verifying international qualifications for nurses, doctors and other healthcare professionals, shortening a process that normally takes between 18 months and two years. .

Expanding employer-based training will allow healthcare workers to earn and learn at the same time, officials said.

canadian press