REVISED / Provincial government to cover pharmacists’ fees for services related to birth control and shingles07 June 2022
FREDERICTON (GNB) – Fees that pharmacists charge to prescribe patients birth control are now covered by the provincial government. The province is also covering fees pharmacists charge to assess and treat people for shingles.
“Our model for primary health care is outdated and leaves too many New Brunswickers without access,” said Health Minister Dorothy Shephard. “Expanding the role of pharmacists and other health-care providers will have a big impact on evolving our system to one that, no matter where someone enters the system, they are able to access the care they need.”
The government has been taking action to ensure that health-care professionals practise to the full extent of their skills and education, said Shephard. The goal is to reduce wait times, increase access to primary care, and lessen the pressure on other service providers in the health-care system.
“Publicly funding these two new pharmacist services will significantly improve access to care for women managing their reproductive health and for anyone facing shingles,” said Andrew Drover, president of the New Brunswick Pharmacists’ Association. “Pharmacists are vital, accessible health-care providers who can help transform primary care in New Brunswick. We look forward to finding more ways that pharmacists can help ease the burden on family physicians and emergency rooms while making it easier for patients to access the health care they need.”
Increasing access to primary health care is a key action item under the government’s health plan, which was released last fall.
“Patient care is at the core of what pharmacists and pharmacy technicians do,” said Anastasia Shiamptanis, registrar of the New Brunswick College of Pharmacists. “Having the proper regulatory framework in place and recognition of existing knowledge and education is critical to enabling pharmacy professionals’ important role in primary care.”
Patients will still be responsible for the usual pharmacy dispensing fees and the cost of prescribed medications, as well as any fees for injections.