9000 Points Of Care
9000 Points Of Care
The Future of Pharmacies Acting now to sustain Canadians’ access to quality, affordable healthcare.


National Post Healthcare Closer to Home Suplement

By Post Media

It’s not fresh news to us, but Canada’s universal healthcare system is under mounting pressure from the twin challenges of increasing costs and a rapidly aging population. Although the rate of cost increases has slowed in recent years, healthcare now accounts for more than 40 per cent of provincial government budgets.

Our healthcare system — which was built to deliver acute care in hospitals — is now faced with a population whose needs are evolving towards managing chronic conditions, like diabetes and high blood pressure, where hospital treatment is among the most costly options. What is already expensive is set to become even more costly, as our population ages and requires more care. In 2011 there were about five million Canadians 65 or older, a number expected to grow to about 10.4 million by 2036 — doubling both in total numbers and as a proportion of Canada’s overall population.

“Five creative initiatives have the potential to reduce governments’ healthcare costs by $8.5 billion to $11 billion over three years…”

Recognition of this looming challenge isn’t new, either, as various Royal Commissions, inquiries and studies stretching back a decade or more have all called for fundamental change in the way healthcare is delivered in Canada.

In 2013, the broader pharmacy community embarked on an ambitious research agenda. The result was a ground-breaking policy platform titled “9000 Points of Care: Improving Access to Affordable Healthcare.”

The absolute focus of “9000 Points of Care” was to protect healthcare for future generations. As such, concrete, actionable strategies that will improve patient care and health outcomes that makes better use of taxpayers’ scarce dollars were developed.

Together, “9000 Points of Care’s” five creative initiatives have the potential to reduce governments’ healthcare costs by $8.5 billion to $11 billion over three years. These findings were independently validated by the Conference Board of Canada.

Implementing these strategies will provide immediate healthcare benefits to patients and economic benefits to governments, insurers and individual Canadians alike. The strategies include:

  • Using neighbourhood pharmacies to treat common ailments such as diaper rash, cold sores, allergic rhinitis and oral thrush, and to administer vaccines, has the potential to free up to 2.4 million physician hours to focus on more complex cases and prevent up to 600,000 emergency room visits and 1,500 hospitalizations.
  • Helping Canadians afford the medicines they need through increased access to and use of affordable generic medications can reduce overall system costs by $7 billion to $9 billion.
  • Supporting patients with chronic conditions — managing chronic conditions more effectively, including increased use of neighbourhood pharmacy resources, could free up to 6.3 million hours of physician time, prevent up to 1.3 million ER visits and 500,000 hospitalizations.
  • Optimizing distribution of essential healthcare products, such as flu vaccines – by using the pharmacy industry’s distribution system (as in Alberta and Prince Edward Island) – will reduce inefficiencies resulting in waste and spoilage, and result in a state of the art emergency preparedness and pandemic response system.
  • Preventing adverse drug reactions (ADRs) – better electronic infrastructure, resources, connectivity and information-sharing will help avoid up to 300,000 ER visits and up to 86,000 hospitalizations due to ADRs. Although these strategies represent new and different ways of delivering healthcare, they all have the advantages of being practical and of being capable of being implemented in the short-to-medium term. Through these five strategies, we can deliver patient and economic benefits for all Canadians. Neighbourhood pharmacies are ready to help serve Canadians better.  
9000 Points Of Care
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