The New Brunswick Pharmacists’ Association says they can play a larger role in addressing the province’s primary care crunch.

Executive director Jake Reid says pharmacists are ready and willing to divert patients from elsewhere in the system.

“Pharmacists are capable and trained health-care practitioners and they’re able to look after a variety of health services, you know, common ailments that you may go to a clinic or to your doctor for, (or) the emergency room for,” he said.

“Here’s a team of health-care professionals — right now they’re really on the sidelines.”

Right now pharmacists are able to treat over 30 different minor ailments, without the involvement of a doctor or nurse practitioner.

However, most of those aren’t covered by Medicare.