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Primary health care policy and vision for community pharmacy and pharmacists in Estonia

  • Sepp, Kristiina
  • Tuula, Anita
  • Bobrova, Veera
  • Volmer, Daisy
Publication Date
Jan 01, 2021
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Estonia, with a population of 1.3 million, is the smallest country in the three Baltic States. As a post - soviet country, Estonia over the past 30 years has built up a new health care system, including the pharmaceutical sector. The GDP allocat ed to cover health care costs is significantly lower in Estonia compared to the EU average. Despite this, Estonia has excelled in the development of digita l e - services in healthcare at both the domestic and international levels. The development and integra tion of the Estonian community pharmacy sector into primary health care has been influenced and affected by the liberalization within pharmaceutical policy and the l ack of cooperation with the rest of the health care sector. Community pharmacy ownership an d location matters have been prevalent. The promotion of the pharmacy services has mostly taken place on the basis of a professional initiative, as cooperation with the state has not been active. Possibly the professional fragmentation of the pharmacy sect or may have played a negative role. The community pharmacy network in Estonia, especially in cities, enables fast and convenient access to the pharmacy services. Community Pha rmacy Service Quality Guidelines support the harmonization of the provided servic es and patient - centered concept to enhance the patient role and involvement in their care. In recent years, community pharmacies in Estonia have also offered various extended servi ces that are more or less integrated with the primary health care system. Ne w developments may be affected by frequent changes in legislation and a shortage of professional staff in community pharmacies. The ownership reform of pharmacies in 2020 has so f ar not had a significant impact on the operation of pharmacies or the quality of services provided .

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