Minister Botha Visits Drakenstein to Monitor Delivery of Medication Parcels
Today the Western Cape Minister of Health, Theuns Botha, visited Dalvale in Drakenstein to oversee the delivery of chronic medication parcels to a chronic disease support group. This forms part of Western Cape Government Health’s strategy to deliver medicine parcels to alternative sites and reduce the patient numbers at health facilities.
Western Cape Health Minister, Theuns Botha, says: “Alternative sites such as care facilities are used to reduce patient waiting times and to alleviate the bottlenecks experienced at pharmacy service points. It is estimated that 30% of the patients in the Metro receive their medication through the alternative site delivery service, which translates into 47 000 fewer patients that will attend the clinics each month.
The Chronic Dispensing Unit (CDU)
Western Cape Government Health outsourced the packaging and distribution of patient medication parcels to UTi Pharma. It is the single largest pharmacy operation of its kind on the continent.
UTi-Pharma collects prescriptions for stable chronic patients from health facilities and dispenses the medicines. UTi-Pharma has highly automated systems to dispense medicines quickly and cost-effectively. They package the patient’s medicine parcels in tamper-proof packages with outer labels as per legislation.
At present UTi delivers an average of 215 000 patient medicine parcels per month.
The dispensing and delivery of patient medicine parcels costs the Department R22.24 per script.
Minister Botha says the CDU reduced waiting times at clinics significantly. “The system has removed sixty percent of the workload from CHC pharmacies.
“Patients receive a text message 3 days in advance to alert them that their medicine parcel is ready for collection. This means that working patients can collect their medicines and return to work.”
The Department has 1400 alternative sites, such as the one at Dalvale, that include venues such as clothing workers clinics, chronic clubs and community halls. Of the 1400 alternative sites registered to receive parcels, 74 are residential facilities.