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Barrie pharmacy launches 1st provincial pharmacist care walk-in clinic

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The first provincial pharmacist care walk-in clinic has opened at the Rexall in the north end of Barrie to provide more immediate care for minor illnesses and chronic care in a more private setting.

With a critical shortage of doctors in the province, the ability for pharmacists to help prescribe for some ailments may help keep patients out of emergency rooms.

“I would say it’s a historic moment,” said Qaiser Hassan, the pharmacy manager of the Rexall on Duckworth Street. “People already come to us when they cannot see their own family doctor.”

The pharmacist care walk-in clinic plans to offer personalized health care at a similar level as hospitals and family physicians, and at a much faster rate.

“The goal is to see the doctors within 15-to-20 minutes,” added Hassan.

The care will also be provided under OHIP coverage.

“Some of the things people come into a family physician for may be able to come to a pharmacist,” said Rolan Vaisman, a clinical pharmacist at Rexall. “Such as the minor illnesses we are advertising in our services.”

Those services will include prescriptions for strep throat, cold sores, urinary tract infections, and rashes among other illnesses.

“It’s something that will embrace the new model of pharmacy as pharmacies continue with having an expanded scope,” Vaisman added.

Both MP Doug Shipley and MPP Doug Downey touted the significance of what it means to enhance health care in Barrie for those who might be struggling to find a family doctor.

“I know a lot of people go to [Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre] for small things,” stated Shipley. “Hopefully this takes some of the pressure off of them.”

“I think it’s a great innovation,” said Downey. “Now [pharmacies] will be able to deal with walkins and provide treatment.”

The new pharmacist care walk-in clinic will operate seven days a week from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. Rexall hopes the Duckworth Street location will be the first of many across Ontario.

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