Shoppers Drug Mart removes night work hours in five locations, which caused concern among Winnipeg medical staff.
Claire Blomeley, a nurse in the recovery room at Health Sciences Centre, believes that it can cause trouble to residents of the city, who may urgently need medicines. She was in such a situation 2 years ago when she fell ill with the flu. The doctor wrote her a prescription at about 1 a.m., and she was able to buy the necessary medicines only at Shoppers Drug Mart.
"Awful. I was feeling like, I need these medications. They did make me feel better but I needed to take them right away,” she said.
Loblaw Companies Limited owner explained the closure of 5 locations so that the demand at night is very low and the company considers it to be inexpedient to continue working overnight. Two locations are closed now, and three more will be closed soon.
"What's available for people in the middle of the night. If they are being discharged or even something over the counter,” Blomeley wonders.
Staff at Costo and Walmart reported that they do not have 24h pharmacies in Winnipeg.
“We don't have any locations operating for 24 hours in Winnipeg. We continually assess our business decisions based on customer feedback, said Rexall communications and corporate relations director Natalie Gokchenian.
The Winnipeg Regional Health Authority commented on the situation saying that it is not going to make adjustments to the current position.
“Any medications required at the time of treatment within the Emergency Department/Urgent Care are provided as part of the patient’s treatment. While the majority of prescriptions can be filled when pharmacies open at 8 a.m., our staff will provide guidance to patients who are being discharged,” said WRHA spokesperson Cory Kolt.
Blomeley believes that such a state of affairs can harm Winnipeggers.
"You're feeling sick enough that you went to emergency room, you're feeling pretty darn sick and you go and get one dose in the morning and get up at 8 in the morning and fill a prescription,” she said.
Southdale Square and Mountain and McPhillips locations of Shoppers Drug Marts have already removed the night hours. Pembina Village and South Park, Osborne Village and St. James location will do it until 22 April.