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Pharmacy Services in B.C. – Province of British Columbia

Last updated:  November 16, 2023

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How pharmacists can help you

In addition to consulting on and dispensing prescriptions, pharmacists can: 

What to bring to the pharmacy

Pharmacists are licensed health care professionals. They are bound by the same confidentiality rules as a family doctor or nurse practitioner. Your health information and conversations are private and confidential.

Pharmacists can assess and treat 21 minor ailments such as UTIs, allergies, pink eye and dermatitis. The service is free for B.C. residents when provided in person, in a pharmacy.

Your visit may include:

  • a prescription
  • advice for self-management
  • a recommendation to see another health care provider

Minor ailments self-assessment checklist:

For severe symptoms or medical emergencies, seek immediate medical attention or call 9-1-1.

If your symptoms match one of the minor ailments below, you can book an appointment or visit a pharmacy for an assessment.

All the below for more than 7 days:

  • Stuffy or runny nose (usually clear and watery)
  • Sneezing
  • Itchy nose, eyes, and/or throat

Read more about allergies at HealthLink BC.

  • Begins with itching, tingling, or burning sensation at border of lip. A cluster of fluid-filled, painful blisters soon appear, surrounded by redness Blisters then break, crust over, and usually heal within 7-10 days

Read more about cold sores at HealthLink BC.

(includes jock itch, athlete’s foot, ringworm, nail infection)

  • Jock itch: Large, round, red patches with bumpy or scaly, well-defined borders, usually on upper inner thigh or groin. May spread to inner leg toward buttocks or toward stomach/abdomen. Commonly itchy, burning
  • Athlete’s foot: Commonly occurs between toes but may occur on other areas of the feet. May be itchy, cracked or scaly, inflamed or blistered skin that burns and/or hurts
  • Ringworm: Small, round, red patch with well-defined bumpy

B.C. becomes first province to sign individual health deal with feds, worth $1.2 billion

Canada’s health minister is touting Ottawa’s new $1.2-billion bilateral funding agreement with British Columbia as a new model for federal-provincial co-operation to address the health-care crisis across the country.

Mark Holland said the deal focuses on finding answers to the challenges facing Canada’s health-care system instead of placing provincial and federal officials at odds over who’s in charge in each jurisdiction.

“Look, I get that we want to think about jurisdiction and we want to protect jurisdiction,” Holland said at the signing of the deal with B.C. at Vancouver General Hospital on Tuesday. “But at the end of the day, health is health, and we all have a responsibility to find ways to work together.

“I’m not looking to walk around with a stick and be aggressive towards provinces. I want to work with provinces and territories. I want to find solutions. So that isn’t about intruding on jurisdiction. It’s about being partners.”

The agreement is part of a $196-billion, 10-year national health accord that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau offered provinces in February.

Quebec is the only province that hasn’t agreed in principle to the accord, as Premier Francois Legault has bristled at being held accountable to Ottawa for reaching certain health-care targets as part of the deal.

Holland said talks with Quebec are ongoing.

Money to address nurse-patient ratios, doctor retention

The agreement with B.C., where the $1.2 billion in funding will be shifted to the province over the next three years, comes with an action plan covering the same period to develop “an innovative model of care” at 83 acute-care sites, mostly hospitals, that would allow nurses to spend more time with patients.

BC Nurses Union president Adriane Gear said the model in the action plan refers to the establishment of minimum nurse-patient ratios, which was part of

Province doubles spending on health-care action plan to add more workers

The province is giving its plan to add 2,000 more health-care workers a significant funding boost.

The $200-million plan has now become a nearly $400-million plan as the province says it is adding new incentives and initiatives.

The Health Human Resource Action plan, originally announced in November 2022, aims to end mandated overtime and add 2,000 nurses, doctors, allied health professionals and support staff across the province.

New initiatives will include more opportunities for paramedics in rural and Northern Manitoba to grow in their careers, practice-ready assessment for physicians, supports for internationally educated nurses, and a renewed focus on system and staff wellness.

Health Minister Audrey Gordon says the province has already rolled out a number of successful initiatives for Manitoba nurses as part of the plan.

“We will continue to work with physicians and staff from all levels of the health-care system towards a shared goal of a stronger workforce that provides safe patient, client, and resident care closer to home for all Manitobans,” Gordon said.

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Manitoba Health Coalition Provincial Director Thomas Linner says more spending should mean more staff.

“Today’s announcement purports to double the province’s investment with zero change applied to the number of health care providers sought by the province’s plan, which remains at 2,000,” Linner said in a statement.

“Even this most generous assessment – that the province has committed to paying double to attain the same result – must be caveated with the fact that we are still left with no effective timelines, no baselines and no metrics by which to determine the success or failure of the announced measures.”

Meanwhile, Manitoba Association of Health Care Professionals

Province Training far more Health care Laboratory Technologists As a result of Impressive Partnership

The Province continues to go speedily to prepare more men and women for substantial-need health care employment across Nova Scotia.

Starting off in September, a new, adaptable on the web discovering possibility will be out there to Nova Scotians who want to turn into healthcare laboratory technologists. Up to 40 people today will be accepted to the application, established via the Province’s partnership with the Michener Institute of Training at College Wellness Community.

“Medical laboratory know-how is a satisfying vocation that is in superior need right now,” said Brian Wong, Minister of Highly developed Education and learning. “This understanding product will permit learners to master online and practise in individual at Nova Scotia Health facilities through the province so we can meet up with significant labour requirements and educate the experts we have to have to present Nova Scotians with accessibility to superior and more quickly treatment.”

Men and women in the new plan will signal a return of support agreement for a placement with Nova Scotia Well being.

A different software through the Michener institute is now assisting 5 internationally trained clinical laboratory technologists get completely ready to work in Nova Scotia. In January, they began a 16-week bridging application that will prepare them for their licensing examination. Though they wait to acquire the exam, they will operate with conditional licences and assistance fill vital labour requires at Nova Scotia Well being.

In February 2022, the Division of Advanced Education and learning, the Section of Health and Wellness, and Nova Scotia Health signed a memorandum of understanding with the Toronto-based mostly Michener institute to investigate new options to boost training capacity for positions that are in desire in the Nova Scotia health care method.


We’re delighted that this partnership with the Michener institute is currently helping Nova Scotia

Province unveils programs for foreseeable future health and fitness-treatment hub in Sooke

Wellness-care amenities in Sooke will occur with each other in a centralized locale, it was revealed Thursday.

The province declared Thursday that the West Coastline Loved ones Medicine Clinic will shortly leave the Evergreen Centre and shift its procedure, as nicely as a number of other local community expert services, into a one centralized spot at a new growth that is underway at 6671 Wadams Way.

The new internet site will be residence to what officials are contacting an built-in overall health-care centre, a facility that will offer every little thing from primary treatment to psychological health and fitness and compound-use companies and will get the job done in just the Western Neighborhood Primary Care network. Wellness professionals offered at the centre will consist of family medical doctors, nurse practitioners and registered nurses.

“This new built-in well being-treatment facility will connect men and women in the community to a variety of health and fitness-care services, including most important treatment, urgent treatment and community health and fitness providers all beneath one roof,” stated Minister of Well being Adrian Dix.

Just a doorway down from the proposed site is the Sooke Kid, Youth & Family Care centre as very well as the Sooke Overall health Unit. The Family Centre acts as a gateway for people in want of counselling, prenatal aid and a licensed preschool, as effectively as other packages that assistance households.

It isn’t clear when the West Coastline Relatives Medication Clinic will pack its bags and move to the new location, but a spokesperson from from the municipality states design is projected on the website is anticipated to finish by 2025.

The province hopes by giving a range of well being-care companies from a one place with prolonged hrs, it can fulfill escalating need in the Sooke location, which presently

Island Health and fitness, province, and Port Hardy, B.C. physician seemingly at odds concerning wellbeing-provider challenges – BC

B.C.’s Eco-friendly Bash Chief Sonia Furstenau says B.C. desires to pay attention to the fears of front-line health and fitness-care staff from North Vancouver Island and look at choosing health practitioner assistants.

At a push convention Friday accompanied by neighborhood Dr. Alex Nataros, Furstenau said B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix should listen to healthcare employees.

“I’m inquiring overall health minister Adrian Dix to acknowledge and identify the systemic place of work problems that are in our health care process,” she mentioned Friday.

”They are actual and the situation can’t tolerate any a lot more downplaying.”

Dr. Nataros, a physician dependent in Port Hardy, has been publicly pushing for health practitioner assistants for the local medical center immediately after months of intermittent closures at the ER section.

“I am advocating for health practitioner assistants simply because I only have a single established of fingers,” he explained.

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“Physician assistants are confirmed, evidence-primarily based, culturally secure, and expense-powerful doctor extenders. This product functions, and I will need support in Port Hardy.”

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Dr. Nataros was recently suspended by Island Overall health from working in the unexpected emergency section. Nataros statements he was suspended as “retaliation” for his community feedback, which include a resignation simply call for Island Health’s vice president — some thing the nearby overall health body denies.

“I am right here to advocate for my patients for the reason that the stakes are much too significant in our wellness-treatment crisis,” Dr. Nataros reported.

“Our communities — Port Hardy, Port McNeill, and Inform Bay — have continued to see unexpected emergency area closures and unstable staffing owing

Province takes action to stabilize northern Vancouver Island health-care services

Significant efforts are underway to stabilize and improve access to reliable health-care services, including emergency care, in Port Hardy and the Mount Waddington region.

“We are committed to improving access to health care with significant investments across northern Vancouver Island,” said Adrian Dix, Minister of Health. “Staffing shortages and challenges on the North Island have created uncertainty. The new efforts launching today will bring certainty for emergency-care services for people living in the communities of Port Hardy, on Cormorant Island, in Port McNeill and in the surrounding region.”

Emergency department services will be available from 7 a.m. until 5 p.m. in Port Hardy, from 8 a.m. until 7 p.m. on Cormorant Island, and 24 hours a day, seven days a week in Port McNeill. Regular hours will be restored as soon as possible. In the interim, these hours will allow patients and families to know where and when emergency services are available.

“We have heard the community loud and clear. People need to know when services are available and when they are not,” said Kathy MacNeil, president and CEO, Island Health. “To prevent unexpected closures, Island Health is temporarily suspending overnight emergency department services in Port Hardy and on Cormorant Island while our new measures come into place. We will resume regular hours as soon as possible, and work to immediately accelerate efforts to expand services and strengthen staffing throughout the region.”

Stabilizing and supporting staffing throughout northern Vancouver Island is key to health-care access. This includes enhancing staff recruitment and retention incentives for eligible staff with travel-wage increases, upgraded accommodations for travelling staff, and more protection-service officers to improve safety and site support. 

Island Health will establish daily shuttle services between Port Hardy and Port McNeill hospitals, as well as daily shuttles to Campbell River and the Comox Valley

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