Hoping to ease pressure on the healthcare system, the Shoppers Drug Mart in north Lethbridge opened a pharmacist-led care clinic on Friday.
The newly minted site is building off the success of a similar clinic that opened in south Lethbridge in June 2022.
Pharmacist and associate owner Hyder Mohamed said he’s hearing about the need first-hand.
“We have been basically asked by our customers and patients why the north side doesn’t have a better setup when it comes to clinics.”
Now patients can visit the north side Shoppers Drug Mart for medical services, including ordering labs and testing, minor illness and injury, and women’s health.
“We can spot red flags, and if needed, we can refer patients to get proper care through the hospital or physicians,” said Mohamed.
According to Qadir Mawji, director of clinic development with Shoppers Drug Mart, Lethbridge’s first pharmacist-led clinic has seen about 40 patients per day since opening last year. The most concerns are minor ailments like care for UTIs, minor skin conditions, eye infections, and chronic disease management.
“There is a huge need here to take the burden off the healthcare system, and pharmacists are well-equipped with an advanced scope of practice here in Alberta to help support all the other healthcare professionals,” said Mawji.
10 new family doctors practising in Lethbridge, but might already have ‘full panel’ of patients
The ministry of Health told Global News: “Alberta’s government is committed to stabilizing and strengthening primary healthcare across the province so everyone has access to a primary healthcare provider, no matter where they live.
“In recent months, 18 additional family medicine physicians have committed to working in the community of Lethbridge. As of May 31, 2023, 14 of these physicians have begun practicing. As they work through their practice readiness assessments with the College of Physicians & Surgeons of Alberta, it is anticipated the remaining four will begin between June and December.
“We support the expanded role of pharmacists in providing primary healthcare as part of a multi-disciplinary team and using the skills of pharmacy teams to improve access. We also welcome innovation in seeking new models of care. Alberta pharmacists have the broadest scope of practice in Canada.”
The new Lethbridge location is one of three pharmacist-led clinics opening in the province this week.
It will be open daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. for walk-ins and appointments.
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