Ontario: consult the pharmacist for certain health problems

Pharmacists practicing in Ontario can now diagnose and treat some common conditions, a new measure that provides better access to health care in the province.

Ontario: consult the pharmacist for certain health problems

Pharmacists practicing in Ontario can now diagnose and treat some common conditions, a new measure that provides better access to health care in the province.

By showing their health card at a pharmacy, Ontarians can now quickly get a prescription for 13 common conditions such as conjunctivitis, urinary tract infection or sprain. This new process makes it possible to avoid a consultation with the doctor, all for free.

"Expanding the capacity of pharmacists to provide care is one more way to put people at the heart of the health care system, giving them faster and more convenient access to health care in their communities," said Ontario Health Minister Sylvia Jones in a statement released Wednesday.

This change will also reduce pressure on ERs and clinics in Ontario.

“It reduces the pressure on hospitals, emergency departments, walk-in clinics and family doctors. It also frees up time for our healthcare partners, allowing doctors, nurses and other healthcare providers to focus on more complex cases,” said Justin Bates, president and CEO of the Ontario Pharmacists’ Association.

- hay fever (allergic rhinitis)

- Oral thrush (Candida stomatitis)

- Weeks' bacillus conjunctivitis (conjunctivitis; bacterial, allergic and viral)

- dermatitis (atopic rashes, eczema, allergic and contact rashes)

- menstrual cramps (dysmenorrhea)

- acid reflux (gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)

- hemorrhoids

- cold sores (herpes labialis)

- impetigo

- insect bites and hives

- tick bites (post-exposure prophylaxis to prevent Lyme disease)

- sprains and strains (musculoskeletal)

- urinary infections

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