Sun | Mar 18, 2018

Tufton says partnership with private pharmacies nothing but positive

Published:Sunday | June 11, 2017 | 4:43 PM
Health Minister Dr Christopher Tufton cuts the ribbon to officially open the newly upgraded Greater Portmore Drug Serv Pharmacy in Portmore, St Catherine last Friday while St Catherine Health Services Parish Manager Beverly Needham looks on.

Health Minister Dr Christopher Tufton is reporting a significant reduction in waiting time and over 17,000 prescriptions filled to date since the government forged a partnership with private pharmacies to dispense drugs on its behalf.

“The response has been nothing but positive,” Tufton said, while delivering the keynote address at the official opening of the upgraded Drug Serv Pharmacy in Greater Portmore, St Catherine on Friday.

Launched in December and administered by the National Health Fund (NHF), the Public Sector Pharmacy Partner Pilot Programme aims to improve the delivery of services to public patients by giving them more options to fill their prescriptions.

Six pharmacies in Kingston and five in Clarendon are taking part in the pilot and according to Tufton, the number of participating pharmacies will increase to 50 this year.

Approximately 190 Vital, Essential and Necessary (VEN) pharmaceutical items have been approved for the programme. Patients will be required to sign up to participate and must have a Government of Jamaica Health Card or the National Health Fund Card.

Persons will be asked to pay $200 to offset administrative costs.

The Drug Serv Pharmacy, located at 5 West, Greater Portmore, was upgraded at a cost of $42 million.