Health, News

Pharmacists In Ontario To Have An Increased Role

Medicine container and pills. Image: аз.

When you’re sick, you go to the doctor.

She may give you a prescription for some medicine—for example, eye drops.

If you live in Ontario, you’d then go to a drug store and give that prescription to the pharmacist, who would “fill your prescription” – in other words, make up the eye drops and sell them to you.

As it is now, if you run out of your prescription eye drops and need more you would likely have to go back to your doctor to get another prescription.

This week the Ontario government announced a new plan that gives the pharmacist an expanded role in healthcare.

The province’s pharmacists will soon be able to:

• renew most prescriptions for up to six months and even change the dosage (amount of medicine that is taken by the patient) if necessary;

• give out prescriptions for products that can help people stop smoking; and

• give people their annual flu shot.

In many cases, it may be easier for patients to go to a pharmacy rather than their doctor when they need more of their existing medicine. That’s because doctors usually require an appointment whereas pharmacists are generally available during business hours and even after hours, with no appointment.

The Toronto Star reported that, in making the announcement about the changes, Ontario premier Dalton McGuinty pointed out that parents of children with asthma who wake up in the middle of the night and need more puffer medication will have an easier time getting it.

By Kathleen Tilly

Writing/Discussion Prompt
Why do you think this change was made? How will this affect how doctors and pharmacists do their jobs? Who do you think this change will benefit? Who do you think it will not benefit?

Reading Prompt: Reading Unfamiliar Words
This article contains words you may not be familiar with. Even if you do know (or think you know) them, sometimes it’s good to look up words and review their exact definition.

Before you look up each word, read each sentence again and predict what the unfamiliar words mean. Then look up these words in a dictionary or online for their definitions.

• Pharmacist

• Dosage

• Prescription

• Renew

• Expanded

• Healthcare

Are your predictions and the dictionary definitions the same?

Junior and Intermediate
Predict the meaning of and rapidly solve unfamiliar words using different types of cues (OME, Reading: 3.2).

Grammar Feature: Bullet Points
A ‘bullet point’ looks like this • and it is used before each item in a list. There are bullet points in both the article and in the Reading Prompt. Why do you think bullet points are used? How do they help you to understand?