In Brittany, 50 pharmacies authorized to take care of “minor ailments” instead of medical practices

It’s not a consultation, but it’s a bit close. Since the spring, Didier Roche, pharmacist in Rieux (Morbihan), 2,600 inhabitants, has been offering his customers to push ” further away “ the usual pharmaceutical advice: a fifteen-minute questionnaire allows him to operate a first “sorting” in the needs of the people who push the door of his pharmacy. And to customers willing to leave with a “best idea” of what they should do, without necessarily having to push the door of a doctor. And ” it counts “breathes the pharmacist, in a town where there is only one left.

“I do not claim to replace the general practitionerhe continues. I only intervene in well-framed situations, to carry out a first regulation. » A word that meets with a certain echo, among health professionals, at a time when the system, in the city as in the hospital, is cracking on all sides.

“Free up medical time”

Burns, rhinitis, tick bites, simple wounds, lumbar pain, conjunctivitis…: the list of thirteen “little ailments” against which the pharmacist can position himself has been established, with the help of doctors, by the association Pharma quality system, carrier of the experiment, and validated by the regional health agency (ARS) of Brittany, which supports it .

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Called “Osys” (Orientation healthcare system), inspired by a Swiss system, it falls within the framework of article 51 of the social security financing law of 2018 (which makes it possible to experiment with new health organizations ). “His protocol is very framed”explains Martine Costedoat, director of the association: if the situation described by the patient relates to one of the thirteen listed ailments, the pharmacist, trained in the protocol, offers an interview to gather clinical details.

Guided by a “decision tree”, for each question-answer, it directs the person towards three possible paths: pharmaceutical advice (the majority of cases), the general practitioner (sometimes), emergencies (rarely). “We are helping to free up medical time”supports Mme Costedoat.

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In one year, fifty Breton pharmacies have embarked on the experiment. Two-thirds are located in territories where medical demography is fragile. But not all of them: you can find them from Pontivy (Morbihan) to Lamballe (Côtes-d’Armor) and Brest (Finistère). “It is not a miracle solution in the face of medical desertification, but a way of promoting collaboration between pharmacists and doctors, by testing a new type of entry into the care pathway”, defends Stéphane Mulliez, director general of ARS Bretagne. A “local solution” that he intends to add to the toolbox of the “health” section of the National Council for Refoundation.

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