Lethbridge Superstore offers Alberta’s first walk in health clinic led by pharmacists

By The Canadian Press

A Canadian retailer has partnered with the University of Alberta to offer the province’s first pharmacist-led health clinic as part of a pilot project.

Loblaw Companies Ltd. said the walk-in clinic, which opens to patients Monday, is located inside the Real Canadian Superstore in Lethbridge.

Jeff Leger, head of pharmacy for Loblaw and president of Shoppers Drug Mart, said pharmacists in Alberta are uniquely positioned to relieve some of the burden on the province’s healthcare system.

“In Alberta, there’s great scope of practice,” he said. “Pharmacists are able to do quite a number of things to help people with either minor illnesses or pain or chronic conditions, so that’s what we’re doing.

“We’re actually going to offer primary care through the pharmacists.”

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Health Minister Jason Copping, who attended the announcement in Lethbridge, said in a statement that the clinic will be a place where people can get help quickly and easily.

“Pharmacists have the knowledge and expertise to contribute more to the primary care team, and the government recognizes that,” he said.

Copping said it’s one way the province is increasing access to primary care, which is a major challenge in the healthcare system.

“Access is an issue right across Canada; and like other challenges, it was an issue even before COVID, but of course, the pandemic has made it much tougher,” he said.

Copping said the province is also working with Alberta Health Services to recruit more family doctors in places like Lethbridge.

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