April 1, 2020
Galen talks about overall health and our efforts to help
Over the last few weeks, my updates to you have mostly been about food and supermarkets. You’ve been fantastic adjusting to the new norms when you’re shopping. I know there are some really long lines at the cash registers in certain stores as we try to manage social distancing. Right now, we are looking for some solutions to help ease that congestion. So, hang in there.
Today, I wanted to shift the focus a little bit and share some updates for those of you thinking about your overall health (pretty much all of us these days). This is an area we have been incredibly focused on over the last couple of weeks at Shoppers Drug Mart. Our central team of healthcare specialists and our pharmacists in the field have been working around the clock to find ways to help.
First and foremost, we are dedicated to making sure you can access the medications you need to stay well. I’m pleased to report that our pharmacies are in stock on all of the most necessary drugs. For those ordering refills, you can now do that straight from your phone through the Shoppers Drug Mart app. If you need delivery, make sure you ask the pharmacy. We have it available in nearly every town.
The other thing we are hearing from lots of Canadians is that they are reluctant to visit the hospital or go to their doctor if they are suffering from any kind of non-COVID-19 health issue. And staying out of the emergency room if you think you might have a minor ailment is very sensible. But there are still ways to consult with a medical professional.
Over the last few weeks, we have been working with thousands of physicians across the country to enable virtual care through a tool we call Medeo. We are making the software available for free so that as many primary care physicians as possible can provide consultations to their own patients online. If you think you might benefit from a remote visit, check with your doctor to see if Medeo or another similar service is available at their practice.
If you don’t have your own physician, Shoppers Drug Mart has partnered with Maple to offer a virtual walk-in clinic that will quickly match you with a doctor or nurse through your phone or computer. Many provincial health programs already pay for this service. But if in your case they don’t, we’re currently covering the cost until April 10, and are working to try and extend that as long as we need to.
These virtual care options are actually pretty easy to use, and I hope you’ll give them a try. Also, for any number of minor ailments, your local Shoppers Drug Mart or supermarket pharmacy is another great place to start. Depending on the province where you live, pharmacists can now assess and treat a growing number of conditions such as eye and ear infections, skin conditions, and UTIs. Be sure to keep them in mind as you consider your healthcare options.
And as we all worry about our physical health, many of us are also feeling the emotional toll of these uncertain times. That’s why we have expanded the mental health support we’re providing to our colleagues and their families. And starting today, we have also partnered with SilverCloud Health to offer an online stress management program through their digital mental health platform. More of us need this help these days, so we’ve made it free for all Canadians.
As we all do our best to stay well, let me leave you with three things:
• If you need to see your doctor, consider asking if they have virtual care options available in their practice
• If you don’t have your own physician, consider using our free virtual walk-in clinic by visiting ShoppersDrugMart.ca
• If you’re feeling particularly stressed, consider some of the mental health resources we’ve made available through our website free of charge
No matter how you choose to support your physical and mental health, don’t hesitate to seek out the help you need. We’re in this together. And if we can be part of the solution, that’s why we’re here.
Take care and be kind,