29 December 2017

These state patients can now pick up meds at private pharmacies

This will make it easier for patients to get access to their medication.

The new, recently introduced Central Chronic Medicines Dispensing and Distribution (CCMDD) programme for patients on antiretrovirals and other chronic medication has already proven to be a major benefit.

People with chronic illness are speaking highly about the programme that allows them to collect their medication without visiting public facilities and spending time in long queues.

Weight off clinics

The Gert Sibande District in Mpumalanga has implemented National Health Insurance (NHI) programmes since 2011, but the new CCMDD programme has been hailed as the best by most clients.

It is aimed at reducing the number of clients flocking to clinics and hospitals, and reducing patient waiting times.

The programme makes use of private pharmacy outlets as the pick-up points for chronic medication, with the main objective being to improve access to antiretrovirals and chronic medicines for stable patients reliant on the public healthcare sector in South Africa.

Patient Gloria Shabangu of Ermelo said, “Before the CCMDD implementation, with my hours at work, I use to pay people to collect my medication at the clinic. But sometimes the nurses would refuse to allow this and if that happened I would sometimes go days without medication. This has caused me to default twice but now with the CCMDD programme, the defaulting days are over. I don’t stress myself anymore because my time is flexible and it takes less than 20 minutes for me to get to a Clicks pharmacy to collect my ART and go back to work.”

Less time-consuming

Patients visiting pharmacies for their medication find their treatment programme easier to manage, there are no queues and they no longer have to wait four hours or more just to be served.

“With this CCMDD we no long have to stress about running out of medication,” said Phindile Msizi.

Vusi Buthelezi, another patient on the programme, said he now only has to visit his clinic once every five months for a blood test to check his CD4 count and viral load.

“I can confidently say NHI is working in the Gert Sibande District,” he said. Health-e News

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