Feedback for Exemptions and Exclusions Under the Employment Standards Act

Pharmacist  ·  Dec. 4, 2017

I have previously voiced my position on the exemptions as it applies to pharmacists.

I merely want to state a few important things to consider regarding a decision to modify, reform and legislate any changes as it applies to the business of pharmacy as well as rights of pharmacists. 1. The OCP regulates all pharmacies and pharmacists in the province with documented codes of ethics and standards of practice. It's purpose as a regulatory body is to ensure public safety. It also hears cases of complaints as well as professional misconduct. With the many changes to professional practice over the past decade, I wonder what the correlations between dispensing errors and workload as well as existing employment standards (absence of lunch and breaks) really are. Having read many previous submissions from members, a common theme exists. Patient safety. 2. A few years back, CBC Marketplace ran a segment on dispensing errors. Many stakeholders were interviewed by Marketplace. The son who's mother passed away from a drug interaction caused by an antibiotic with her chronic heart medication was reported. There was a discussion of the error. The CPHA had little to offer. Two pharmacists who are employed with a large pharmacy corporation had their identities and voices masked as they spoke freely about the stresses of everyday practice. I recalled one of them stated he would replay all the prescriptions he checked and dispensed in one shift when he got home. He told the interviewer he hoped he didn't commit any errors. The corporation for which these pharmacists worked for declined an on camera request to comment.

Clearly there is something amiss here. Pharmacists need a set of standards that protect them in the workplace. It is through legislation that will provide basic human rights to a workplace that offers lunch breaks as well as two daily 15 minute breaks. All other issues related to the ESAO need overhauling. Through the provision of removing these exemptions, pharmacists will be better equipped to offer the professional services they have been trained to provide. And who knows, maybe just maybe the College and the ISMP might find itself with lessened cases of reported errors. Just my final thoughts.

I hope you get it right!

A link to the Marketplace episode is provided. While it may have an unknown relationship with employment standards as they apply to pharmacists, I think it provides relevant optics in our ever changing daily practices. http://www.cbc.ca/marketplace/episodes/2014-2015/pharmacy-error-dispensing-danger

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