Medication Collection Points – the next step in improving patient-centred health | Western Cape Government


Medication Collection Points – the next step in improving patient-centred health

13 September 2017

Community based chronic medication collection points – the next step in improving patient-centred healthcare

Around 1200 alternate chronic dispensing unit (CDU) collection points have been established in the metro for chronic patients in need of regular medicine collection.

The sites are operated by the Western Cape Government Health Metro District Health Services.

The department is committed to a more patient-centred holistic approach, which is why these additional CDU collection points are conveniently based within communities to manage the load of patients on chronic medication. This is in addition to collection points at our various health facilities.

The Department dispenses a monthly average of 380 000 Patient Medicine Parcels (PMPs) to patients at health care facilities in the Western Cape.

Currently the Department pays a CDU service fee of R24.25 (excluding VAT) per medicine parcel delivered to the contracted service provider. The monetary value of this service for the period January to July 2017 amounts to R48 million.

Approximately 18 million chronic dispensing unit patient medicine parcels have been dispensed across the entire Western Cape to date. 

CDU sites allow clients greater access to chronic medication. These sites, based within the communities, also allow for a quicker collection turnaround and relieve pressure at facilities.

“I arrive on my appointment date at the offsite CDU at St. Mary the Virgin in Woodstock at 09:00 to collect my chronic medication, and within five minutes I am on my way home again,” said Anthony (48), who is a patient of the Woodstock Community Day Centre (CDC).

“This system works well for me, because I recently started a contract job and need to stay on my chronic medication to maintain a healthy life. Between sites I make a quick stop at St. Mary’s to collect my medication which takes me 5 to10 minutes,” said Jonathan Thomas from Woodstock.

In order to be classified as a suitable candidate for collecting medication at an offsite CDU, patients need to be compliant in collecting and taking their chronic medication regularly, says Dr Ronit Okin, Senior Family Physician at the Woodstock Community Day Centre.

“Once screened, examined and diagnosed as a patient who is unlikely to have adjustments made to their medication by a medical officer, the patient is examined every six months thereafter to ensure that they are still suitable enough to continue collecting their medication offsite.”

Patients’ prescriptions are written out by the medical officer at the facility and managed by the pharmacy department at a healthcare facility.

The pharmacist in turn forwards the prescriptions to the DSV’s licensed and recorded pharmacy.

The prescriptions are dispensed at DSV’s pharmacy (phase 1 and phase 2) and supplied as patient medicine parcels by DSV and delivered directly to the facility.

The medication parcels are then further distributed to the offsite CDU for the patient to collect on their appointment date. Distribution assistance is provided by contracted non-profit organisations and their trained healthcare workers.

“We are aiming to further improve CDU service in our communities to assist in addressing the increasing demand for efficient dispensing of chronic medicines. This will ultimately improve the quality of healthcare for all those suffering from the most common chronic diseases in our province,” said Kim Lowenherz, Director of Pharmacy for Western Cape Government Health.

Dr Beth Engelbrecht, Western Cape Head of Health said: “These offsite dispensing pick-up points forms part of the Department’s Healthcare 2030 plan and vision to improve the quality of care of our health services for people.”

“The Department is making healthcare simpler, better and faster, with added convenience and improved efficiencies. Direct deliveries are made to a dedicated venue close to the patient’s doorstep. We also have enhanced data, which is leading to better decision-making that helps to continuously improve quality of care,” said Dr Engelbrecht.

Media Enquiries: 

Monique Johnstone

Principal Communications Officer:

Klipfontein / Mitchells Plain and Western / Southern Sub-structures

Western Cape Government Health

Tel: 021 370 5129

Mobile: 079 908 4856