In an attempt to ease some of the pressure on British Columbia’s health-care system, Premier David Eby says the province will become the first in Canada to offer online booking for residents to see pharmacists for treatment of minor ailments.
The website will go live Thursday morning to allow residents to book appointments for one of 600 pharmacists who have agreed to use a new system, similar to what is used for people to book COVID-19 or flu vaccines.
The province expanded the scope of pharmacists in B.C. earlier this month, allowing them to treat 21 minor ailments like acne, shingles or urinary tract infections, as well as prescribe contraceptives.
Health Minister Adrian Dix says more than 25,000 people have seen a pharmacist for treatment since the changes were made.
He says people will be able to search for appointment times at nearby pharmacies based on their needs while still having the option to call or walk-in for treatment.
Chris Chiew, president of the B.C. Pharmacy Association, says the new system means it will be easier for patients to find care rather than going to an emergency department.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 28, 2023