Controversy: why are doctors opposed to the new skills of pharmacists?

l’essentielScreening, vaccination, advice, prescription renewal… The scope of pharmacists’ intervention is expanding to compensate for the glaring shortage of doctors, whom they are supposed to alleviate the burden of. A miracle cure? No, angry practitioners retort, « a patch. »

In medical offices, tensions are rising. The planned opening of pharmaceutical prescriptions in January or even February 2024 is not well received by the white coats who consider their work « devalued ». However, they also see their waiting room overflowing.

« I cannot reword »

Des règles de base posées

His colleague from Perpignan is more moderate. « How to respond to the increasing demand in hospitals and clinics? We have to expand the skills of certain professionals to address the emergency, we cannot let people suffer without doing anything, » he points out. A necessary condition for support: that the basic rules are well established. « The protocols must be strictly followed, » Dr. Bolte advocates, calling on his colleagues to be vigilant. Dr. Coué does the same with pharmacists. « I think they will be professional enough. A cystitis or a sore throat can hide more serious conditions. We have studied for ten years to detect them, they study for six. »

Un appel à des choix politiques

Regenerated by this small tackle, the practitioner from Aude cannot help but look further. « If the government does not precisely redefine what the nation expects from each category of healthcare professionals, determining who performs screenings, who does prevention, who administers vaccines, and so on, we will see the return of health officers. Flaubert describes them very well in Madame Bovary, where Charles, Emma’s husband, was the kind of person who had not completed all medical studies and found himself managing seriously ill patients. » In order to relieve certain medical responsibilities, Dr. Coué prefers a simple and easy-to-implement political choice. « We could eliminate medical certificates for playing petanque, which would alleviate the overcrowding in our waiting rooms, » he smiles, wishing « good luck to pharmacists who will not see their insurance premiums increase too much. »

Jean-Louis Bolte, on the other hand, aims for a public awareness. « In pharmacies, we will provide immediate relief to the patient so that they don’t self-medicate recklessly. However, it is imperative for the patient to schedule a complete consultation with a doctor afterwards. We must not open the door for pharmacies to distribute pills on demand. Pharmacies are not pill supermarkets, » he warns, regretting that the Covid-19 epidemic has accelerated such a « disruption ». His warning is that no one should play doctor instead of relying on medical professionals.

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