WINNIPEG, Aug. 28, 2019 /CNW/ - The Neighbourhood Pharmacy Association of Canada (Neighbourhood Pharmacies) and Pharmacists Manitoba applaud the Progressive Conservative Party of Manitoba taking a significant and positive step announcing greater support for women's health in the province if re-elected next month.
The party announced yesterday it plans to press ahead on several specialized services to improve the health of women throughout Manitoba, including making it easier to obtain medical care and treatment for patients suffering uncomplicated urinary tract infections (UTIs).
"This decision marks a moment of considerable progress for the health of Manitobans, especially women," says Sandra Hanna, interim CEO, Neighbourhood Pharmacies. "UTIs are a frequent medical concern for over 50% of women under 32. With this recent announcement, we're assured these patients can receive prescriptions and treatment from their local pharmacist – creating capacity in physicians' offices and emergency rooms."
Manitobans realize and value the critical role pharmacists play in alleviating strains on the provincial health care system. A 2019 poll by the National Research Group showed that nearly half of Manitobans surveyed believe that expanding the range of pharmacy services provided can help reduce ER wait times and overcrowding; and over half of Manitobans surveyed believe these services should be funded by the government.
Manitoba pharmacists are highly accessible in their communities and widely regarded as important, highly trained and trusted healthcare providers. The province has almost 1,300 licensed pharmacists practicing in 411 community pharmacies. Almost half of these pharmacists are certified to prescribe for minor ailments, with this number growing annually.
"We are absolutely thrilled that pharmacists were recognized in this heath funding announcement and will have the ability to prescribe medication for uncomplicated UTIs," said Pawandeep Sidhu, President of Pharmacists Manitoba. "It is a clear commitment to better health care outcomes in the province and, particularly, to improving services for women. Pharmacists are continually looking for ways to improve care, and offering us a larger role in the healthcare system will make life easier for Manitoba families."
Appropriate public funding for pharmacy services – in particular, community pharmacist management of common ailments – could help ease pressures on the health care system. Recent analysis of public funding for certain pharmacy services indicate greater cost effectiveness of community pharmacist management of various conditions when compared to family and emergency physicians. In fact, initiatives like the UTI program are already underway in Saskatchewan, Alberta, Quebec and New Brunswick, and Neighbourhood Pharmacies holds there is certainly room for growth.
"When adequately funded, we have seen the impact pharmacists have on delivering patient care in every community they serve," says Hanna. "Knowing this potential, we will work steadily with government and our stakeholders to move the needle and advance patient care."
The Neighbourhood Pharmacy Association of Canada is the strong voice and advocate for the business of neighborhood pharmacy and its vital role in sustaining the accessibility, quality and affordability of patient care for Canadians.
Pharmacists Manitoba is a not for profit, voluntary organization representing pharmacists in the Province of Manitoba. Our mission is to inspire excellence in practice and promote the value of pharmacists' professional services.
SOURCE Neighbourhood Pharmacy Association of Canada
For further information: Jennifer Deschenes, Director of Communications & Stakeholder Relations, [email protected], 416.998.1480; Lauren Darroch, Communication Coordinator, Pharmacists Manitoba, T: (204) 956 - 6681 | pharmacistsmb.ca | [email protected]