Canadian Pharmacists Association
Canadian Pharmacists Association

Canadians want more funding and access to pharmacist care

Canadians see strong role for pharmacists in addressing gaps in care caused by strained health system

September 22, 2022 (Ottawa): With Canada’s health-care system facing significant strain, Canadians recognize the need to expand and fund additional health services in our communities and better utilize and support our health providers.

According to a new national survey conducted by Abacus Data, 94% of Canadians agree that governments need to expand and fund community-based care, like health services available through pharmacies.

“Canada’s health system is currently struggling with a shortage of health workers, emergency department closures and growing wait times,” said Dr. Danielle Paes, Chief Pharmacist Officer, CPhA. “Now is the time to appropriately invest in our health workforce and ensure we are enabling and supporting new ways of delivering primary care in our communities—pharmacy professionals have a vital role to play in this.”

The vast majority of Canadians (90%) think pharmacists can help address gaps in care caused by the current shortage of health-care providers. Specifically, when it comes to the health services that pharmacists could provide, Canadians see a larger role when it comes to vaccinations (61%), prescribing for common ailments/conditions (53%), testing and lab services (47%), and 48% of women see a larger role in contraception prescribing.

While the care pharmacy professionals are able to provide has expanded greatly over the past decade—especially during the COVID-19 pandemic—the publicly-funded health services available to Canadians at the pharmacy varies greatly from one province to the next. 95% of Canadians think patients should be able to get the same services from pharmacists regardless of where they live.

“More provinces are turning to pharmacists to help find ways to relieve pressure on emergency rooms and physicians,” added Paes. “Helping patients at the pharmacy counter for common ailments—like a UTI or pink eye—or prescribing contraceptives improves access to health services close to home, but it also enables patients to receive quality care that leverages the knowledge and skills of our country’s medication experts to improve health outcomes. Funding and supporting our pharmacy workforce to provide these services would go a long way toward helping our strained health system.”

About the Canadian Pharmacists Association

The Canadian Pharmacists Association (CPhA) is the uniting national voice of pharmacy and the pharmacist profession in Canada. As pharmacists undertake an enhanced role in the delivery of health care services, CPhA ensures that the profession is recognized as a national leader in health care, influencing the policies, programs, budgets and initiatives affecting the profession and the health of Canadians. 

For more information, please contact:

Tyler Gogo
Senior Manager, Communications
Canadian Pharmacists Association