OTTAWA (ON), January 18, 2022 /CNW/ – Canadian healthcare providers have made incredible sacrifices throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Pharmacists and their staff are no exception. Pharmacies remained open to their communities during the worst of the pandemic and extended their practices to public health, becoming a leading provider of COVID-19 vaccines and information in many parts of the world. Canada. However, the pandemic and the current variant of Omicron are pushing pharmacists and their staff to the breaking point. Pharmacies are struggling with staff shortages, staff exposure to COVID-19, administrative overload, as well as issues with testing and access to PPE. Pharmacy professionals need more support from all levels of government to continue to serve their communities and ensure their safety and health, and that of their patients.
The Canadian Pharmacists Association urges governments and regulatory bodies to implement the following calls to action to support the pharmacy profession during this very difficult time.
National Calls to Action
- All provinces and regulators should strive to eliminate unnecessary administrative and regulatory burdens on pharmacies (e.g. separate and overly complex platforms for vaccine planning, billing and record keeping) and help pharmacy teams to be as efficient as possible in the provision of vaccines and regular pharmacy. operations during this period of increased workloads and reduced staff.
- All governments should ensure dedicated access to COVID-19 testing and PPE (e.g. N95) for pharmacy staff, with particular attention to pharmacies supplying COVID-19 vaccines. These resources should be provided without complex registration and reporting requirements.
- Governments should help increase the supply of pharmacists and pharmacy support staff. This may include assistance with costs associated with higher salaries as well as financial relief and other resources to help pharmacy technicians and internationally trained pharmacy professionals obtain their license.
- All governments and regulatory bodies should enable the full scope of pharmacy practice to ensure that pharmacists and pharmacy technicians can provide the most appropriate and timely care to their patients. For example, pharmacists in some areas and pharmacy technicians in many parts of the Canada are still unable to administer vaccines. In addition, allow all pharmacists in the Canada providing therapeutic substitution or prescribing for common conditions would expand and streamline patient care access, while maximizing the efficiency of the health care system.
- Health services provided by pharmacists should be publicly funded as they are for nurses and doctors and, where appropriate, pharmacists should be allowed to provide these services virtually to minimize contact and the risk of ‘exposure.
- Governments and regulatory bodies should strive to harmonize the full scope of pharmacy practice across Canada improve health equity and allow pharmacists and pharmaceutical resources to move between provinces to relieve pressures in emergency situations.
- All governments should ensure that pharmacy staff have access to the necessary resources (such as access to childcare, mental health resources, etc.) to help pharmacies maintain the necessary staff.
- Governments should continually include pharmacists/pharmacy groups in policy planning decisions that may impact the profession (e.g., expanding vaccine eligibility) and provide pharmacy advance communication of such changes policy to ensure effective implementation.
About the Canadian Pharmacists Association
The Canadian Pharmacists Association (CPhA) is the national unifying voice for pharmacy and the pharmacy profession in Canada. As pharmacists take on an expanded role in the delivery of health services, CPhA is ensuring that the profession is recognized as a national leader in health care, influencing policies, programs, budgets and initiatives affecting the profession and the health of Canadians. More information is available at www.pharmacists.ca.
SOURCE Canadian Pharmacists Association
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