An Aging Population, Health care and the Role of Pharmacists in Saskatchewan with a National Comparison

The Pharmacy Association of Saskatchewan, in partnership with CPhA, commissions yearly public opinion surveys on public perceptions and attitudes towards pharmacists in Saskatchewan and across Canada. The public surveys are conducted by  Abacus Data. Below is a summary of the survey. The full Saskatchewan and national surveys are at the bottom of the page.

2019 Saskatchewan Survey

The 2019 online survey was conducted with 3,219 Canadians over 18 years of age from February 26th to March 7th, 2019. The survey found people in Saskatchewan recognize the seriousness of an aging population and the strain it will have on the health system. Participants were then asked questions around the pharmacist role within caring for an aging population. The survey found this concern is held by many older residents, particularly women. The survey breaks down into 5 sections from the  innovations in health care delivery to how comfortable people are with pharmacist doing to more to sustain the health system.

Seriousness of Issues Saskatchewan & Canada May Face

Saskatchewan residents were asked to rate the issues they are likely to face over the coming years. Out of the seven issues, 98% rated preparing the healthcare system to deal with Canada's ageing population as serious. Participants were then asked for their reaction to ideas about how the healthcare system can respond to the ageing population. From encouraging health professionals to work as teams to allowing other health professionals like pharmacists, paramedics, and nurses to deliver more health services, participants agreed they were good ideas. 

Expanded Scope of Practice

Participants were asked about their overall comfortability with pharmacists expanding their scope of practice, with 89% in favour. Additionally, they were asked their reactions to pharmacists expanding their scope from administering immunizations to ordering and interpreting lab tests. 85%  think it's a good idea for pharmacists to administering immunizations, 84%  pharmacist prescribing for minor ailments, and 84%  think it's a good idea for pharmacists to perform medication reviews and assessments.    Additionally, they then asked how convincing the arguments for a pharmacist expanded scope of practice were. 

Minor Ailment Prescribing

In Saskatchewan specific questions, participants were asked how likely they would be to get a prescription from a pharmacist for birth control and bladder infections (UTI). 60% said they would likely get a prescription from a pharmacist for a bladder infection and 43% said they would get a prescription for birth control from their pharmacist. It is important to note that in the birth control question, 46% of those asked answered it as not applicable. 

Travel Health Information

Questions were asked around travel health information and their likelihood of consulting a pharmacist. 87% said they would consult for travel vaccinations, 88% for diarrhea prevention and treatment and 76% for chronic disease management.

Patients Comfort with Pharmacists in Pain Management

Survey participants were asked questions about their comfort level in discussing pain management with their pharmacists. 87% of participants said they were comfortable talking to their pharmacist about their pain management, including prescription narcotics or cannabis.

Full Survey Results

Saskatchewan - CPhA - Abacus Data 2019 .pdf

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Canada’s Aging Population, Health care, and the Role of Pharmacists_AbacusData.pdf

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