The relational dimensions of pharmaceutical care : experience from caring for HIV-infected asylum seekers in Montréal
Article [Accepted Manuscript]
By describing the experience from dispensing antiretroviral drugs to asylum seekers infected with HIV in Montreal we argue for the relational dimensions of pharmaceutical care. Between 2010 and 2016, the Government of Canada changed the medical coverage for refugees and asylum seekers, leading to some uncertainty about what types of care were reimbursable for each migrant status. In Quebec, despite the compensatory coverage provided by the provincial medical insurance board (Régie d'assurance maladie du Québec, or RAMQ), this uncertainty led to a breakdown in patient followup in some establishments. The McGill University Health Centre's Chronic Viral Illness Service (CVIS) was nevertheless able to maintain continuity of care for refugees and asylum seekers living with HIV. This article looks more specifically at the pharmaceutical care provided during this period and, more particularly, at the convergence of the technical and relational dimensions. The methodology used was a qualitative case study, which made it possible to explore pharmaceutical care, by conducting qualitative interviews (n = 16). Semistructured interviews were conducted with patients and various professionals from the CVIS, including pharmacists. The cultural, administrative, and political dimensions of pharmaceutical care described here appear very important for overall patient care. Further reflection on the importance of relational dimensions of pharmaceutical care and the place and value of pharmaceutical care in the advancement of patient care is required.