B.C. to offer online pharmacist appointment bookings

British Columbia will be the first province in Canada to offer online bookings for appointments to see a pharmacist.

Premier David Eby announced the online portal will be open on Thursday, allowing people to quickly see a pharmacist for assessment of minor ailments and prescription refills.

This comes a month after the province allowed pharmacists to prescribe common medications like birth control, in an effort to alleviate the strain on family doctors.

“This is about getting the health care that you need in your community when you need it. It’s about taking pressure off our entire healthcare system. I can’t wait to see how this new system works out and rolls out in communities across the province,” Eby said.

Read More: B.C. pharmacists can soon prescribe birth control, some medications

The premier revealed that in the first month that pharmacists were given expanded assessment privileges, more than 25,000 people took advantage of it.

Health Minister Adrian Dix says the new online portal will be similar to the one used to book COVID-19 vaccinations.

“People will be able to search for available appointment times at nearby pharmacies based on their minor ailment or contraceptive needs and book a time,” he said.

“Should they choose to do so, people can also continue to access the service by calling to visiting a pharmacy to book an appointment, or by a walk-in without an appointment, understanding that it may not be always available for pharmacists to see.”

President of the BC Pharmacy Association, Chris Chiew, said pharmacists have been busy since they were given the ability to assess people for minor ailments, with some pharmacies seeing lineups outside before opening.

“We know that our patients have trust and confidence in us and numbers released truly show that it is there,” he said. “With B.C.’s new provincial booking system launching tomorrow, it will be easier for patients to find a pharmacy and a time for a pharmacist to access them for their cold sore, a rash, an allergy or even a simple urinary tract infection, rather than going to an emergency department after hours.”

You will be able to access the online portal at gov.bc.ca/seeapharmacist.

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