More government cuts Pharmacists concerned

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Arnaud de la Salle
(tr. AB)


Arnaud de la Salle
(tr. AB)

MANSFIELD – National media recently announced there will be an estimated 900 job losses across the province in the pharmacy sector due to cuts and restrictions imposed by the Quebec government. According to Pavlina Zivkhov, who owns Pharmacie Pavlina Zhivkov in Mansfield, cutbacks have already had an impact on her business. “We are obviously concerned. I had to reduce the hours of technicians and a maternity leave departure for a pharmacist,” said Zivkhov.
In terms of what will happen in the future, Zivkhov said she does not know what to expect. “We are worried about the sustainability of the sector. Within the next three years there could be disruptions in services,” she concluded. Pharmacie Pavlina Zhivkov employs eight people full time and is not open on weekends; with the new cuts, the business does not want to risk extending its hours of operation.
To allow pharmacists to absorb $133 million in fee cuts per year
over three years, the government of Quebec announced last June that it would lift the ceiling for professional allowances for three years, which was capped at 15%. The use of allowances and rebates is very regulated and they must be reinvested in pharmacy operations. Although many believed that pharmacists were able to increase their salary after the announcement, it was not the case.
Once again, the health system will have to adapt and work with limited resources to meet the needs of users.