Twin City Mall in Bloemfontein is the newest site for the innovative ATM pharmacy that gives patients with chronic illnesses repeat medication in under five minutes.
The Pharmacy Dispensing Unit (PDU) was unveiled on 25 September, during Pharmacy Month, at the central community shopping centre, which is on main transport routes and is open for extended hours including weekends and public holidays. The first such dispensing unit was launched in Alexandra in Gauteng in March this year.
The Pharmacy Dispensing Unit works like an ATM for medication, with Skype-like audio-visual interaction between patient and a remotely located tele-pharmacy contact centre. Patients are able to talk to pharmacists in a call centre 400km away in Centurion, Gauteng – showcasing the benefits of tele-pharmacy to patients in rural and outlying areas. This allows patients to access accurate medicine information and counselling from qualified pharmacy staff.
Despite the Life Esidimeni tragedy, non-existent oncology services in some provinces, striking healthcare workers and a damning quality standards report before parliament, Health Minister, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi seems to be labouring under the delusion that the South African public healthcare system is not collapsing.
Speaking at a media briefing, the minister said he was not aware of any scientific methods used to measure the veracity of the claims made about the breakdown of the health system.
“I am not here to challenge that because I do not know the yardstick that was used to arrive at a conclusion of collapse. Surely healthcare systems are measured on some form of scientific yardstick to arrive at any conclusion.”
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