The B.C. government is looking to expand training and improve the recruitment and retention of healthcare workers in the province.
Provincial officials said it’s a multi-year strategy, but a number of initiatives will start in either 2022 or 2023.
By Oct. 14. pharmacists will adapt and renew prescriptions for a wider range of drugs and conditions.
They will also extend the valid period of prescriptions to two years instead of one.
Provincial officials said this will specifically help patients dealing with mental health and substance-use disorders who need longer prescriptions.
The Ministry of Health is also working with the College of Pharmacists of BC to allow pharmacists to prescribe prescriptions for minor ailments.
For example, a patient with a urinary tract infection may be able visit a local pharmacy for assessment and recommendations for treatment, instead of having to go to a doctor or an emergency room.
This should be in effect by the spring.
To help increase the number of health workers in B.C., 40 new undergraduate medical education seats and up to 88 new residency seats will be phased in at the University of British Columbia beginning in 2023.
According to the B.C. government, more announcements regarding the new strategy will be announced in the coming weeks and months.