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Pharmacists sounding alarm on new funding model
Published Friday, March 2, 2018 6:37PM MST
Some pharmacists are worried a new funding model will mean job losses and lower quality of care for patients.
On Wednesday, the Alberta government announced a new collaborative funding framework with pharmacists that is expected to save $150 million over the next two years.
The province said the framework with the Alberta Pharmacists' Association will reduce health-care costs by slowing the growth of spending on government-sponsored drug programs.
Under the agreement, some of the changes include dispensing fees will drop $0.15 on prescription fees and cap off follow-up visits.
Pharmacist Eileen Jang calls the new funding framework a pay cut.
“I predict I’m going to lose $40,000-$50,000 in revenue right off the get go,” Jang said. “I don’t see how I can maintain the level of service I’ve been giving all my people.”
Health Minister Sarah Hoffman said the province couldn’t continue to fund more than other provinces.
“I understand that some have concerns, my biggest concern is making sure we have good quality service for the people of Alberta at a sustainable budget point,” she said.
The government said the changes will see more than 8,700 seniors save over $100 a year, while a person with significant prescription needs could save more than $500.
With files from The Canadian Press and David Ewasuk