COAST SALISH TERRITORY - VANCOUVER, Sept. 29, 2017 /CNW/ - First Nations in British Columbiawill join the province's drug insurance program, PharmaCare, on October 1, 2017. The change will see drug benefits services for First Nations Health Authority (FNHA) clients move from Health Canada's longstanding federal
Previously, First Nations in BC received drug benefits from Health Canada's Non-Insured Health Benefits (NIHB) program. In March 2017 the Province of BC enacted a regulation change, removing barriers for First Nations to join PharmaCare. The move to the provincial drug insurance program of PharmaCare brings health care decisions about prescribed medications closer to home, from Ottawa to First Nations in BC.
For the vast majority of FNHA's 143,000 eligible clients, drug coverage will remain the same. As before, presenting a BC Services Card and a Status Card is all that is needed at the pharmacy counter.
In the transition to the PharmaCare drug formulary, a small number of clients will see a change related to specific drugs, however FNHA and the Ministry of Health will ensure all patients continue to receive the medications they need. Clients are advised to speak to their prescriber and pharmacist about any changes.
The move to PharmaCare provides an opportunity for clients to discuss their prescribed drug therapy with their doctor or nurse practitioner, to ensure it continues to best serve their current health and wellness needs. Clients preparing to travel out-of-province should plan ahead and ?ll prescriptions in advance here in BC before leaving. Reimbursement will be available for eligible out-of-province purchases.
Any clients with questions about the PharmaCare transition, are encouraged to call FNHA Health Benefits at 1-855-550-5454 or email at HealthBenefits@fnha.ca.
More information on this transition including frequently ask questions can be found on the FNHA website: www.fnha.ca/pharmacare
Grand Chief Doug Kelly, Chair First Nations Health Council
"In 2006 the BC government signed the Transformative Change Accord. With this Accord, BC committed to provide the same health services to First Nations as those available to other British Columbians. This change is a significant milestone on the longer journey to transforming health services for First Nations peoples in BC."
The Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor - Minister of Health
"The best health outcomes for Indigenous peoples are achieved when they design and develop health programs that meet their unique needs. I congratulate the FNHA on bringing health care decisions closer to home for First Nations in BC. Our Government will continue to work with FNHA to help ensure a smooth transition."
The Honourable Jane Philpott - Minister of Indigenous Services
"I congratulate the First Nations Health Authority in taking another step forward in self-governance over health services in British Columbia?. This is a fantastic example of reconciliation in action that will benefit the health and well-being of First Nations peoples of BC."
Richard Jock, Chief Operating Officer - First Nations Health Authority
"The move to PharmaCare, Plan W removes policy barriers for our clients and streamlines the process for prescription approvals. By accessing health-care benefits from the same provincial systems as other British Columbians, the relationship between PharmaCare and health care providers including pharmacists, physicians and nurse practitioners will be strengthened, resulting in safer, more coordinated care for our clients."
SOURCE First Nations Health Authority
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