National Post Healthcare Closer to Home Supplement
By Post Media
Canada’s neighbourhood pharmacies range from standalone ‘mom-and-pop’ shops to large-format stores, with an extensive range of healthcare products, services and general merchandise. What all these different examples of neighbourhood pharmacies have in common, however, is a dedication to delivering compassionate, professional healthcare – to the highest standards.
Over time, the role of neighbourhood pharmacies has expanded. Now, in addition to the core services of dispensing medications and consulting with patients on them, many pharmacies offer a wider range of healthcare services — the profession’s term is ‘expanded scope of practice’ — of which flu vaccinations may be the most familiar. The ‘expanded scope’ services available in pharmacies vary by province and location, but include adjusting prescription medications, assisting in the management of chronic conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure, assessing and prescribing for minor ailments and assistance with smoking cessation.
"Canadians expect their healthcare system to be there for them."
Accessing primary healthcare in a neighbourhood pharmacy offers Canadians healthcare closer to where we live, work and play. Many services are available without an appointment and many pharmacies are open 24 hours, with even more open to midnight. That means common ailments can often be assessed and treated with a one-time, one-place solution. When combined with the other goods and services on offer in many pharmacies, there’s an unmatched value proposition that serves Canadians well and respects the many demands on their daily lives.
Canadians like and trust their neighbourhood pharmacies, and find them friendly, providing advice that is accessible, affordable and supportive of patient care through advice on medications, sharing health information and helping to prevent illness, through programs like flu shots. In fact, almost 80 per cent of us consult one at least annually on a healthcare concern or question.
Neighbourhood Pharmacies — the trade association behind the retail pharmacy business in Canada — is conducting research aimed at developing evidence-based solutions to provide support for continued expansion of pharmacy healthcare services. Canadians expect their healthcare system to be there for them. Their neighbourhood pharmacies are a vital part of a sustainable system that delivers accessible, affordable high quality healthcare services.