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Pharmacy care clinic expansion under review in New Brunswick


Pharmacy clinics where you can be seen the same day, or within a day or two – depending on your ailment – have existed in Alberta for over a decade.

But on the East Coast, the concept remains in a pilot phase.

Nova Scotia launched 12 in January 2023, and expanded to 25 later in the year.

Those 25 will be studied until the end of September to measure their success, but there’s already talk of more sites.

New Brunswick rolled out six in August and September last year and feedback has been mostly very positive.

New Brunswick's Health Minister Bruce Fitch said he needs to look at the data but can “foresee it being expanded.”

“But I don't want to prejudge the data,” he said speaking to reporters at the New Brunswick legislature Friday. “Part of that whole primary care and access to primary care includes the pharmacists and this is one area where we can help. So, I am looking forward to the data and hopefully we can have a positive evaluation and there could be some expansion of those services.”

When asked about a timeline, he said he’d like to see a decision made before his tenure is complete ahead of the October election.

“The response has been excellent from the patients. They get seen promptly,” said Fredericton-based pharmacist Alistair Bursey.

Bursey feels it’s all hands on deck right now when it comes to improving health-care services, and pharmacists are ready to help – wanting to do more – provided the funding is there.

“The demand for health care is increasing so quickly and these provinces are growing that you can't wait like you used to, a year to run a program and then six months to evaluate it. I think it's getting something where you got to say,' OK, we need to expedite this a bit and evaluate this and make sure that, yes, let’s dot our I’s and cross our T’s.' But we need to realize that health care needs to reform and needs to change,” he said.

Liberal Leader Susan Holt did a tour of the province focused on health care earlier this year.

She said she heard very positive feedback specifically about the clinic location in Paquetville, N.B., and practitioners there were hoping for it to continue.

“They were appreciating the model and they were looking for some more support on how it would go forward because they want some certainty about the future,” she said.

So far, the six locations in New Brunswick can assess and prescribe for ailments like Group A Strep, and chronic disease management like diabetes, COPD, asthma and cardiovascular disease.

For more New Brunswick news visit our dedicated provincial page. Top Stories

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