City of Ekurhuleni partners with private pharmacies to reduce waiting times at clinics

Bedfordview clinic manager Thandi Tshabangu in the medicine room checking for any discrepancies on the receiving stock before the medicine is packed to be sorted for patients.

The City of Ekurhuleni has partnered with commercial pharmacy groups such as Clicks, Pick ‘n Pay, Dischem and Medirite with assistance from the National Department of Health to serve as chronic medication pick-up points to reduce waiting times at healthcare facilities.

The public-private partnership with the 49 contracted pharmacies in Ekurhuleni, complements the already existing 111 pick-up points which service about 44 800 patients.

“This service gives residents the opportunity to choose the most convenient pharmacy from which to collect their medicine,” said the MMC for community services, Clr Dora Mlambo.

“On average, 60 per cent of patients visiting our clinics are stable patients, only there to collect their chronic medication.

Read: Local clinics ranked among the best

“Ideally, these patients should not be queuing, hence we have expanded pick-up points to private pharmaceutical companies.”

The service is only open to stable patients who have undergone a minimum of six medical reviews and their medical records confirm adherence to the proper dosing schedule.

Once a health practitioner has given the go-ahead for a patient to collect their prescription, a patient will sign a consent form to indicate the pharmacy of their choice from where they want to collect their two months’ treatment.

Once the medication is available at the pick-up point, an SMS will be sent to the patient to collect their medicine within 14 days from the time the SMS is sent.

Patients are expected to visit the clinic after six months, for re-scripting and medical assessment.

However, should any sickness or medical complications arise, the patient is strongly advised to visit their nearest clinic for medical attention.

Proof of identification and a clinic card will be required when collecting medication at the pharmacy.

Read: Ekurhuleni expands access to healthcare by extending operating hours at 29 clinics

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