Letters to the editor – February 15, 2018

Local pharmacies important

Quality health care is at the heart of each of our communities, and local pharmacies are an essential part of Manitoba’s public health care system. Pharmacists build relationships with patients and their families and work hard to deliver quality medication to the patients they care about.

This is why the government’s recent decision to contract pharmaceutical services at more than 100 personal care homes across the province to a large Ontario company is so concerning. This was a decision that was made without talking to pharmacists or patients in rural Manitoba and it will have long-term impacts.

Pharmacies are often locally owned businesses in small towns. Taking revenue from them could really hurt some of our neighbours. Experienced pharmacists may even be forced to leave, draining the community of health care professionals. Delivery drivers, technicians and assistants could also need to find new jobs outside of the community. The domino effects of these job losses could mean less money stays in the community in the long run.

For many local pharmacies, personal care home contracts make up a big share of their revenue. That means they go above and beyond to provide quality, compassionate service. We’re worried that a corporate chain based in Ontario won’t care about patients and families in the same way. This could hurt our seniors who rely on timely delivery of the medications they need.

I urge you to reach out to your provincial representative and call on them to reverse this decision and to support local pharmacies. I am more than happy to hear your concerns too.

Wab Kinew
MLA for Fort Rouge, Leader of the Official Opposition
Winnipeg, Man.

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