Pharmacists in New Brunswick will join their counterparts from three other provinces in being able to treat pink eye.
It’s an addition by the provincial government to the list of common ailments that pharmacists are publicly funded to treat.
Officials said in a news release Tuesday the move is part of an effort to give New Brunswickers better access to care.
“We know that many families are affected by conjunctivitis, and they need to see someone for relief,” said Health Minister Bruce Fitch.
Conjunctivitis is the scientific name for pink eye.
“To ensure that New Brunswickers can see the right care provider for the right service at the right time, we are working with our highly skilled pharmacists, who care for people in their communities, to make it easier to access these needed services,” said Fitch.
Tuesday’s announcement follows a similar announcement in May that pharmacists could treat residents for contact allergies, cold sores, eczema, acid reflux, impetigo, Lyme disease and mild acne.
The province’s department of health estimates 1,100 patients visited a walk-in clinic for pink eye in the last year.
New Brunswick joins pharmacists in Quebec, Ontario and Saskatchewan that are able to treat pink eye.
New Brunswick pharmacists can now assess and prescribe for 12 common ailments and services to divert patient traffic from emergency rooms, walk-in clinics or other primary care providers.
Still, officials said people should ask their pharmacist which services are available as it isn’t mandatory for them to treat all minor ailments.
Patients are still responsible for the cost of prescribed medications, as well as any fees for injections provided by pharmacy professionals.