(Minister of Health Adrian Dix/Province of B.C. - Flickr)

No more long waits to access a doctor when trying to renew your prescriptions.

As the family doctor crisis continues, pharmacists in BC will soon be able to renew prescriptions and prescribe medication for a range of ailments not previously allowed.

In a press conference Thursday afternoon, Minister of Health, Adrian Dix announced that BCs pharmacists will soon be able to provide patients with better access to critical medications.

“We are taking the next step in increasing access to public health care for people in BC,” said Dix in the press conference. 

Beginning on October 14th, prescription renewals will be in BC pharmacies arsenal when it comes to giving their customers and patients the best service they can. 

The only exception to this will be cancer chemotherapy medications.

These changes are predicted to especially help patients dealing with mental health and substance abuse disorders get fast, easy access to critical medications, as well as British Columbians without a family doctor to prescribe their medications.

“Pharmacists are the medication experts,” said Jamie Wigston, President of the BC Pharmacy Association in a press release. “We have the knowledge and expertise to ensure patients get the medication they need, when they need it and how they need it.” 

“What’s most important is British Columbians needing better access to their medications. This announcement allows pharmacists to serve more patients across the province.”

Pharmacists will also soon be allowed to administer a wider range of medications on top of the vaccinations they already give.

“These decisions will help many patients across the province who don’t have a family doctor, but who are taking medications to manage their ongoing health conditions,” said Wigston.

The aim of the changes is mainly so British Columbians will not be left to go to a hospital’s emergency room and wait for hours, just to get their regular medications renewed.

BC will soon join the nine other provinces where pharmacists can prescribe medication for minor ailments like acne, cold sores, indigestion and urinary tract infections.

“We’re looking forward to working in a fully collaborative relationship with primary care physicians to support all patients that need timely access to medications,” said Wigston.

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