TORONTO, April 11, 2019 /CNW/ - The Ontario Pharmacists Association (OPA) applauds the provincial government on its commitment in today's budget to allow pharmacists to assess and treat patients for common ailments – measures that will help to ease wait times in physician offices and emergency rooms for all Ontarians.
"This government has signalled a significant step towards improving healthcare in our province," says Mike Cavanagh, Chair of OPA Board of Directors. "Pharmacists are poised to play a leading role in helping patients improve their healthcare. After many years of lagging behind the vast majority of their colleagues in other provinces, the Ford government has recognized pharmacists for their knowledge, training and high degree of accessibility to bring more timely care to Ontarians when and where they need it – closer to home."
Measures unveiled by Minister of Finance Vic Fedeli in Thursday's provincial budget demonstrate that the Ford government is committed to transforming the healthcare system for all Ontarians by securing the services they need and deserve – and that this starts by putting the patient first. OPA agrees and believes that patients deserve a streamlined and more positive healthcare experience, regardless of who provides the care or where that care is delivered.
Ontario pharmacists are dedicated to helping the provincial government deliver on the Quadruple Aim of Healthcare to:
- Drive better patient outcomes,
- Generate system efficiencies and value for money invested by the government,
- Optimize the patient's experience by leveraging pharmacists' skills, expertise and accessibility, and
- Increase provider satisfaction by allowing pharmacists to practice in accordance with their training and to their full scope, regardless of their practice setting.
Below are some of the key elements of the provincial budget that demonstrate the government's commitment to a more sustainable health system that is focused on patient-centred care:
- Expanding the scope of practice for pharmacists through new prescriptive authorities for the assessment and treatment of known, common illnesses, leading to faster, more patient-centred care while enabling other providers to focus their time and attention on patients with more serious and/or complex conditions.
- Redesigning the Ontario Drug Benefit Program to make its programs more efficient including reducing, wherever possible, the administrative burden for clinicians.
- Increasing the use of digital solutions as part of a Digital‐First for Health Strategy, developing digital tools for Ontarians such as virtual visits, online access to health records, and digital supports for integrated care.
The Ontario Pharmacists Association is pleased that the commitments identified in Thursday's provincial budget highlight the role that front-line pharmacists can and should continue to play in the healthcare of Ontario patients. OPA and its more than 10,000 members are eager to finally use their extensive training and expertise to offer more treatment options to their patients through the government's pledge to expand pharmacists' scope of practice. New treatment options available from pharmacists will undoubtedly allow for a more timely and positive patient experience while helping to bring an end to hallway healthcare and wait times.
About the Ontario Pharmacists Association
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, and professional development and drug information provider for pharmacy professionals across Ontario. By leveraging the unique expertise of pharmacy professionals, enabling them to practise 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 4,500 pharmacies, employing 60,000 Ontarians.
SOURCE Ontario Pharmacists Association
For further information: Media Contact, Corinne Radake, Director, Communications, Ontario Pharmacists Association, 647-237-6543