Justin Jenson, the pharmacist who will run the walk-in clinic, says there will be only one pharmacist at the clinic to begin with, but more pharmacists may be brought in as demand grows.
“We are going to start with a single pharmacist. I won’t be the only gentleman here. We will be an interdisciplinary team within the community and we will certainly, of course, expand based on demand and as more pharmacists become available,” Jenson said. “We hope to achieve integration with at least the University of Alberta. If this is not possible, aspiring international pharmacy graduates, to help them gain additional experience in other countries or other communities where professional services are not as well defined or extensive. This will provide them with an excellent learning opportunity so that they can start to “get their feet wet” in clinical services, not just in a clinic. »
Due to the lack of doctors in Lethbridge, many people do not have a family doctor. Jenson is confident that if there is high demand at the clinic, they can handle it effectively.
“Rest assured, we have plans underway to scale up. We already have several pharmacists engaged in Lethbridge and surrounding areas. We are in discussions with other pharmacies in the area and are also communicating with pharmacists in the Calgary area,” Jenson said. “If the demand requires it, we will expand. If the demand is a little low, we are there to help those in need as soon as possible, but we will be there to help Canadians live their lives well.
Jenson mentioned that the clinic is not an emergency room and some services must be attended by a physician.
“Examples that may fall outside our scope of practice: narcotic drugs. This would not fall within the scope of practice of pharmacists. It would be more up to the doctors,” Jenson said.
Alberta Health Minister Jason Copping also attended the ribbon-cutting ceremony at the Lethbridge clinic. Copping says pharmacists have provided much-needed support during the pandemic, and this pilot project will help improve health service delivery.
“Over the past two years, pharmacists have also provided essential support during the pandemic. Now, this pharmacist walk-in clinic builds on the broad scope of practice and empowers pharmacists to provide more care in an accessible and safe way,” Copping said. “With the knowledge gained from this pilot project, we can continue to improve healthcare delivery by pharmacy teams and stay on the cutting edge of pharmacy practice in Canada.
At the event, Copping also provided an update on research to bring more doctors to Lethbridge. Copping confirmed 11 doctors are expected to open practices in Lethbridge by September, with the potential for even more.
“AHS has worked hard to bring new doctors to Lethbridge, and there are new doctors on the way. Copping said. “There are 11 family physicians committed to working in Lethbridge, pending a practice readiness assessment, and they are expected to begin work in September and log on to provide services over the remainder of the year. year.
Copping said five more physicians are currently being recruited, bringing the total number of potential physicians coming to Lethbridge to 16.
The clinic’s pilot program is expected to last 12 months in Lethbridge before eventually expanding to other regions.