Manitoba pharmacists to see duties expanded to include patients with bladder infections

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Manitoba pharmacists to see duties expanded to include patients with bladder infections
© Global News pool camera Manitoba Health Minister Audrey Gordon, shown here in a November file photo, announced changes to the scope of practice for pharmacists Wednesday, including allowing them to provide assessments and prescriptions for some individuals with bladder infections.

Manitoba pharmacists will soon be able to do more.

The province announced Wednesday it is expanding the scope of practice for pharmacists to include assessments and prescriptions for some individuals with bladder infections.

The change is intended to help improve access to timely and convenient health care, a provincial news release said.

It offers patients “a trusted and convenient option to confirm their diagnosis, manage symptoms and access treatment,” Health Minister Audrey Gordon said in the release.

The release also noted that regulatory changes made by the College of Pharmacists of Manitoba council will allow pharmacists to assess and prescribe treatment for recurrent, uncomplicated cystitis, or bladder inflammation, for non-pregnant women.

These are relatively low-risk, recurring infections and are often self-diagnosed. Treatment is generally through oral antibiotics, the province’s release said.

Pharmacists are accessible health-care providers, said Kevin Hamilton, a past president of the College of Pharmacists of Manitoba, and the changes support “improved patient care, closer to home.”

Pharmacists are well-positioned to play a role in managing recurrent cystitis, he said in the province’s release.

Ashley Hart, past president of Pharmacists Manitoba, is also pleased by the province’s announcement.

Prior to COVID-19, urinary tract infections were one of the most common infections in primary care and in emergency rooms, she said in the news release.

Clients will be able to access up to three assessments with a pharmacist per year at no cost to the client. The province has set remuneration for this service with pharmacists. 

The College of Pharmacists of Manitoba will require pharmacists to complete additional training to provide this service, which will be available in the months ahead.

Manitobans can contact their local pharmacy to ask if they provide this service or search the pharmacist register.

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