The Manitoba government is expanding the scope of practice for pharmacists to include assessments and prescriptions for some individuals with bladder infections (cystitis) to help improve access to timely, convenient health care.
“We recognize the important role that pharmacists play in the health and wellness of Manitobans, and today’s expanded scope of work reflects this,” said Health and Seniors Care Minister Audrey Gordon. “For individuals seeking care, this change provides a trusted and convenient option to confirm their diagnosis, manage symptoms and access treatment.”
The minister noted that regulatory changes made by the council of the College of Pharmacists of Manitoba would allow pharmacists to assess and prescribe treatment for recurrent, uncomplicated cystitis for non-pregnant women. These are relatively low-risk, recurring infections and are often self-diagnosed. Treatment is generally oral antibiotics. The minister noted this approach will provide timely and convenient access to care for individuals.
“Pharmacists are among the most accessible of healthcare providers and this amendment supports improved patient care, closer to home,” said Kevin Hamilton, past president of the College of Pharmacists of Manitoba. “Pharmacists are well-positioned to play a role in the management of recurrent bladder infections for non-pregnant women.”
“We are pleased to see this announcement today,” said Ashley Hart, past president, Pharmacists Manitoba. “Prior to COVID-19, urinary tract infections were one of the most common infections in primary care and in the emergency rooms. This expansion of scope is one step towards enabling pharmacists to practice to their full potential and in turn provides more accessible healthcare to Manitobans.”
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.
Pharmacists will be required to complete additional training required by the College of Pharmacists of Manitoba to provide this service. As a result, this new service will be available in the coming months.
Manitobans can contact their local pharmacy to ask if they provide this service or search the pharmacist register at cphm.ca.