Tue | Aug 22, 2017

‘One of the greatest moves I’ve ever seen!’ - May Pen patients laud new prescription-filling option

Published:Tuesday | December 20, 2016 | 12:00 AMCecilia Campbell-Livingston
Oretta Brown of Health First signs on the dotted line with Health Minister Dr Christopher Tufton.

Clarendon patients who visit the May Pen Hospital will now have easier access to fill their prescriptions, thanks to a pilot project launched yesterday at the Health First Pharmacy in Denbigh.

The project - the Public Sector Pharmacy Pilot Project - is an arrangement with selected private pharmacies to fill prescriptions for public hospital patients.

The move, according to Health Minister Dr Christopher Tufton, who addressed the official launch, is to improve the delivery of pharmaceutical services to public hospital patients by giving them more options to fill their prescriptions.

The programme, which is powered by the National Health Fund, will see 200 Vital, Essential and Necessary pharmaceutical items being approved for the programme and accessible to public patients through the participating private pharmacy partners.

"This is the start of a process that will only get better for you," said Tufton as he explained how the process works.

"See your doctor at the clinic, get a prescription, go to the Drug Serv window. If you think you have the urge to fill the prescription faster than at the Drug Serv window, then you have the option of using the partner pharmacies," he said, pointing out that a minimal administrative cost of $200 will be charged.

According to Tufton, the partnership will mean more efficiency for Drug Serv, as it will see more "manageable" crowds.

"I believe that this is going to eliminate extended wait at the Drug Serv pharmacies. It can only be good for business. It is a positive thing all over," he said.

The five pharmacies in Clarendon - all within proximity to May Pen Hospital - are Jenny's, Miller's, Newlands, GSD and Health First.

 

Overjoyed and relieved

 

Henry Osbourne, one of the first beneficiaries of the project who got to fill his prescription at Health First, was both overjoyed and relieved.

"It is one of the greatest moves I have ever seen. It's good, very good," he told The Gleaner.

"Lawd, I was at the hospital from 5 a.m. Thank God a come down here or a still wouldn't get through," he said, adding that going forward he would be opting to use this service to fill his prescriptions.

For Janett Davis, she was not surprised at the minister's initiative as she sang his praises.

"It's the right move, at the right time. We expect him (Tufton) to work like he did in agriculture," she said, happy that she was able to cut the waiting time to have her prescription filled.

Next week, a similar programme will be launched in Cross Roads, and that will see the involvement of nine partner pharmacies, according to Tufton.