On January 11th, the Ontario premier’s office announced that pharmacists in the province would be allowed to treat and prescribe medication for thirteen of the most common types of medical ailments starting this year. The service areas include rashes, pink eye, insect bites, and urinary tract infections (UTIs). As part of the new rules, pharmacists will also have the power to renew various recurring prescriptions, such as those for blood pressure, diabetes, and asthma medications.
Making Healthcare More Accessible
The new service’s availability is aimed at making it more straightforward and accessible for Ontario residents to access their most common healthcare needs while alleviating strain on the medical system. Since the beginning of 2023, nearly half of Ontario’s 4,700 pharmacies have already started offering these newly allowed services, and more are expected to begin in the coming months.
“Ontario’s pharmacies have been tremendous partners in helping to keep our communities safe and healthy,” said Premier Doug Ford. “Pharmacist prescribing builds on our government’s historic investments to expand our hospital infrastructure and grow our health workforce. We are connecting Ontarians to more convenient care, closer to home.”
These changes have been made in partnership with the Ontario College of Pharmacists.
Other leaders in the provincial pharmacology world praised the move as well. In a statement about the move, Justin Bates, CEO of the Ontario Pharmacists Association, said, “Empowering pharmacists to use their expertise to assess and treat minor ailments helps patients get the care they need sooner and closer to home – but the benefits go much further.” Bates also pointed out that the move “reduces demand on hospitals, emergency departments, walk-in clinics, and family physicians. It also frees up time for our healthcare partners, allowing doctors, nurses, and other healthcare providers to focus on more complex care cases.”
Getting a Prescription from a Pharmacist
While doctors can still prescribe the same medications as before, Ontarians now have more options for accessing essential healthcare. Just like a doctor’s visit, an appointment with a pharmacist to receive a prescription for common ailments will be covered under the Ontario Health Card.
The cost of prescribed medications will continue to be paid for by people directly or through their drug benefits plan. The service news is especially great for people with prescription coverage in their group benefits plan.
Make the Most of Ontario’s Options with the Perfect Benefits Plan
These new rules make it more important than ever to reconsider the benefits you are currently offering to your employees. With the right plan, you can ensure that your staff is able to enjoy the full benefit of the new regulations.
Zarmac Benefits has been providing benefit programs to both new and established businesses for over 20 years. We take the time to analyze what you need and customize a benefits package specifically for your business style, now and for the future.
Zarmac provides critical analysis specific to your business to deliver real choices, advise on trends, streamline renewals, and optimize your plan design. We make it easy for you and your team by supporting the management of your program. We also proactively educate and eliminate questions to ensure there are no surprises.
Ready to protect your business and your team? Find out more about the Zarmac difference!