Dartmouth, Nova Scotia - Residents of Nova Scotia overwhelmingly support and trust their pharmacists, according to a new survey by Abacus Data, even more so than those living in other parts of the country.
The survey, conducted across Canada in February 2016, found that Nova Scotians were more likely to visit a pharmacist for a range of services than the national average. Of those who had used a service from a pharmacy, including getting a flu shot or another immunization, a medication review, a minor ailment assessment and prescription, a prescription renewal, and medication counselling, almost all said they would use the service again.
The survey also found that Nova Scotia residents trust their pharmacists more to deliver advice on a range of health issues, including getting a vaccination or helping them manage a common ailment like a cold sore or allergies, than other parts of Canada.
"These are great results but they don't surprise me," said Allison Bodnar, CEO of the Pharmacy Association of Nova Scotia (PANS). "The enormous success of pharmacists' involvement in the publically funded flu campaign is one example that shows that Nova Scotians are seeking another avenue to receive health care when and where they need it."
Since pharmacist began provided the flu shot three years ago, they have immunized almost 300,000 Nova Scotians.
Awareness about the services pharmacists can provide is also strong. Of those surveyed, 96 percent were aware that pharmacists could give them a flu shot, while 76% knew that pharmacists could provide other immunizations. The public's awareness about pharmacists' ability to assess and prescribe for many illness is also showing signs of growing, with 66 percent of those surveyed saying they knew about the service.
"Pharmacists are the most accessible health care professionals in this province. They are highly trained and committed to the health and wellbeing of their patients," said Ms. Bodnar. "As we celebrate Pharmacy Awareness Month, this survey further illustrates that pharmacists are truly indispensible."
PANS is the advocacy body for pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, and pharmacies in Nova Scotia. To learn more about PANS, Pharmacy Awareness Month, and our exciting #inDISPENSEable contest, please visit pans.ns.ca.
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The Nova Scotia results of the Abacus study are here.