Materia Medica Malaysiana

April 27, 2008

Health Ministry to test drive-through project at Penang Hospital soon

Filed under: Uncategorized — malaysianmedicine @ 11:17 am

Star: PETALING JAYA: Patients with chronic ailments may soon enjoy “drive through” facilities to collect their medication instead of having to wait at government hospital pharmacies.
Health Ministry director-general Tan Sri Dr Ismail Merican said a pilot project would begin at the Penang Hospital in three months to study its feasibility.
The service, which would also operate after hours, would be enjoyed by those who suffered from illnesses like diabetes and hypertension.
“They will not have to come on their work day. They can get their medication after office hours or on weekends,” he said.
Ismail said the move was to make pharmacies at the hospitals less congested.
He said patients would be able to make a telephone call or send an SMS to the pharmacy ahead of making the collection.
“Right now, we do not give medication out every three or six months anymore. It is now on a monthly basis and patients have complained that this is inconvenient,” he said.
Furthermore, he said patients with chronic ailments would not need to see the doctor if it was merely repeating one’s medication.
Dr Ismail said “e-prescribing” – the computerisation of medicine prescriptions – had seen a decrease of the number of prescription errors.
The programme has been implemented at the Putrajaya, Selayang and Sungai Buloh hospitals.
Teaching hospitals like Hospital Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia and University Malaya Medical Centre have also recognised the benefits of computerisation and e-prescribing, he said.
Ismail said there were now more pharmacists in government hospitals particularly after September 2005 when compulsory service for them was introduced.
By the end of last year, 78% of vacancies for U41 pharmacists had been filled. He said there were 2,288 pharmacists in the public sector.

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