The Ontario government is projecting a surplus of more than $600 million this fiscal year ending March 31, 2018. The 2018 budget is projecting a deficit of $6.7 billion -- or approximately 0.8 per cent of GDP.
You can read the full article from OPA's website:
I've copy & pasted the key points below affecting pharmacists:
1. Expansion of OHIP+:
$575 million per year to provide seniors with free prescriptions beginning August 2019. Every person aged 65 years and above in Ontario receiving prescription medications through the Ontario Drug Benefit (ODB) program will do so at no cost. Annual deductibles and co-payments under ODB will be removed. The plan is expected to cover the costs for 6.4 million seniors, children and youth – leading the pharmacare movement for the country.
2. Ontario Drug and Dental Program:
$800 million over two years for a new Ontario Drug and Dental Program for those without extended health plans. The program will reimburse up to 80 per cent of eligible prescription drug and dental expenses up to an annual maximum of $400 for singles, $600 for couples and $50 for each child in a family. An eligible family of four would receive up to $700 per year towards their drug and dental costs.
3. Cigarette Taxes:
To support smoking cessation and prevention, the Ontario government will increase tax on cigarettes by $4 carton – also to be implemented in 2019.
4. Opioid Crisis:
Announced last year, the Budget provides $222 million to implement the Strategy to Prevent Opioid Addiction and Overdose which includes support for additional supervised injection sites, four additional Opioid Prevention Sites, additional public health staff to distribute naloxone and other services, and increasing the number of harm reduction and outreach workers. Since June 2016, 114,000 naloxone kits have been distributed – 78,000 of those through Ontario pharmacies. In addition, as of March 27, with the introduction of intra-nasal naloxone and removal of barriers to provide Ontario health cards, pharmacy professionals are also in a position to provide increased value to address the opioid crisis.
5. Team-based Interprofessional Healthcare:
$102 million over three years to support the expansion of interprofessional primary care teams that will result in 19 new or expanded teams that will recruit nearly 100 new health professionals such as pharmacists. The teams will be deployed to provide primary care services to patients who can benefit the most.
News that has been personally selected by the Editorial team.