By Ansray Thomas
Minister of Health Dr. Christopher Tufton, has announced that the time spent by patients waiting to receive medication has been significantly reduced under the Public Sector Pharmacy Partner Pilot Programme.
Dr.Tufton made the disclosure while delivering the keynote address at the official opening of the upgraded Drug Serv Pharmacy in Greater Portmore, St Catherine, on Friday, June 9. He said that over 17, 000 prescriptions have been filled to date under the programme. The initiative, launched last December, involves partnership with private pharmacies for the dispensing of drugs to public patients.
“The response has been nothing but positive,” the minister said.
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 Minister Tufton said that 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.