Health minister Doug Currie says the proposed changes will allow pharmacists to treat a number of minor illnesses.

Prince Edward Islanders will soon be able to visit their local pharmacist to receive treatment and prescriptions for 30 minor ailments, says Health Minister Doug Currie.

Those ailments includes minor joint pain, nausea, heartburn, coughs and warts.

Currie said this will give Islanders quicker access to care and free up physicians' time to treat more serious illnesses.

Government had already announced that pharmacists will be able to give flu shots. But that will be expanded to vaccinations for a variety of communicable diseases, such as tetanus and HPV.  Pharmacists will also be able to give injections of vitamin B-12 and birth control drugs.

Patients will still require a prescription from a doctor to receive the birth control drugs. Currie said he hopes the services will be available through pharmacies in six to eight months.

"There is a level of training so we are working through that right now," said Currie. 

Department of Health officials are now consulting with pharmacists and doctors about the changes.

Pharmacists would not be able to prescribe monitored drugs, such as narcotics.

Currie said these proposed changes are in line with the other Maritime provinces.