Quebec needs more pharmacists, professional order warns

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“We’re now having to decide on which sectors will get protection from a pharmacist.”

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Louis Ménard has seen the indicators round him.

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Whereas many different pharmacies have lowered their hours of operations, he continues to serve the general public from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., however the workload is taking a toll, and Ménard has been on the hunt for a 3rd pharmacist for the final 5 – 6 years.

“My worker is on trip this week, so I’m doing all of the work myself,” stated Ménard, the proprietor of Brunet Pharmacy in Alma, within the Saguenay area. “If I had a 3rd pharmacist, I might cut back my hours a bit, so that might be good.”

A number of different pharmacy house owners in Alma stated they, too, had been looking for workers. Considered one of them had even supplied a bonus of $50,000 to anybody who wished to relocate and work as a pharmacist.

Ménard has been working with a headhunter for the final yr or so, and has to date come up empty in his search.

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Saguenay—Lac-St-Jean is without doubt one of the areas which were significantly arduous hit by the scarcity of pharmacists, in line with the Ordre des pharmaciens du Québec. Quebec Metropolis, Côte-Nord, Abitibi-Témiscamingue, the Jap Townships and Lanaudière areas have fewer pharmacists than they did a yr in the past.

As of March 31, Quebec had round 10,000 pharmacists, the order famous. Amongst them are 5,158 who work as workers in neighborhood observe, 2,008 pharmacy house owners, 1,853 working in well being centres and 973 working in non-traditional observe.

However that isn’t sufficient to satisfy the rapid and future wants of the general public, the order stated.

Ménard stated the necessity for pharmacists is nothing new. There was a scarcity again when he graduated in 2006.

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“It was very straightforward to discover a job after I graduated,” he stated.

The order is asking for will increase within the variety of admissions to Quebec’s two pharmacy schools in addition to the qualification program for international graduates who want to practise in Quebec. It is usually calling for a rise within the variety of internships in pharmacies.

Ménard encourages folks to get into the sphere, and says being a pharmacist is a rewarding job.

“I discovered it was very optimistic that we didn’t cease working through the pandemic, and it gave us a way of accomplishment that possibly a number of folks misplaced,” he stated. “We’re the primary line, and we’re extra accessible than different health-care professionals, so we get lots of questions.”

Talking to the Montreal Gazette, Linda Vaillant, basic supervisor of the Affiliation des pharmaciens des établissements de santé du Québec, stated her group has been asking the province to handle the scarcity of pharmacists in health-care establishments for the final 20 years. She stated the scarcity has been significantly dire in hospitals and long-term care houses.

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“Pharmacists must have extra education to work in health-care institutions, and we’ve been having issues discovering folks to work there as a result of salaries in pharmacies have been a lot larger,” Vaillant stated. “We’ve been catching up for the previous couple of years, however now we have lots of establishments like long-term care houses which might be having hassle discovering folks.”

She added that it’s very important to have well-trained pharmacists in establishments.

“What occurs is that we’re now having to decide on which sectors will get protection from a pharmacist,” Vaillant stated. “I’d say we solely have about half the ICUs within the province lined by a pharmacist.

“So sadly, there are individuals who can’t be served.”

She stated that when there’s a pharmacist working within the ER, for instance, they will study which medication an aged affected person is taking and can see if there’s a battle between the medicines that’s inflicting an issue.

“Typically that affected person will simply be despatched dwelling and have to return again and be readmitted, and we are able to solely catch that if there’s a pharmacist working within the ER. If not, it received’t be caught.”

Vaillant’s group has known as on the province to assist ease the scarcity by including extra spots for pharmacists in coaching packages and embarking on a marketing campaign to spotlight the work of pharmacists in establishments.

jmagder@postmedia.com

twitter.com/jasonmagder

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