With more than 1,500 pharmacists and over 400 pharmacies across Manitoba, we are the most accessible part of the public health care system and, in some rural and remote communities, the only part remaining. Pharmacists are dedicated to patient-centered care and committed to making a difference in our patients’ lives.
A survey conducted by Abacus Data in March 2019 found a majority of Manitobans were in favor of pharmacists prescribing immunizations (93%), birth control (84%), and for urinary tract infections (83%). A majority also feel that the provincial government should pay pharmacists to assess and prescribe for these services (83-92%). Pharmacists are authorized to prescribe for birth control, urinary tract infections and immunizations in other provinces; this should be happening in Manitoba, too.
We want to work with the provincial government to achieve greater transparency, better value for money and improved sustainability. In order for that to happen, decision makers at the Manitoba Legislature need to update their perspective, build new relationships, and let pharmacists fulfill their potential.
The Minister of Health, Cameron Friesen, stated in his opening remarks at the Pharmacists Manitoba Conference on April 12th, 2019: “For far too long, the relationship between the Manitoba government and pharmacists has revolved around the provincial drug plan and nothing else. This is an outdated approach that, much like the health-care system itself, needs to be transformed and modernized.”
The progress Pharmacists Manitoba has made in building a relationship with Manitoba government officials would not be possible without the work conducted on our behalf by Longview Communications and Public Affairs. For the past 2 years, we have contracted Longview to aid and advance our discussions with the provincial government ensuring that elected officials ReThink Pharmacists. As you can see from the Minister’s quote, our message has been received and we are optimistic that change will come.