Singapore General Hospital (SGH) is widening the avenues for patients to fill their prescriptions.
In addition to having their medication delivered to their homes or to their preferred location like a 24/7 secured parcel locker, patients can opt to collect their medicines at selected Guardian Health and Beauty pharmacies.
"We understand the hassle that patients and their loved ones have to go through just to get the prescription filled. Some even have to take leave from work to make a trip to the hospital, or wait again in queue after seeing their doctor," said Ms Lim Ching Hui, Pharmacy Practice Manager, Pharmacy Department, SGH.
Within the first month of the new service in October 2020, more than 40 orders were fulfilled. By May 2021, some 600 prescriptions were filled via Guardian pharmacies. Most of the prescriptions belong to elderly patients with chronic conditions.
"Often it is the family members who put in the order request on behalf of the patients. The majority of them are working adults who drop off the prescriptions during their breaks or when they finish work," said Ms Grace Chew, Manager, Pharmacy Practice, Guardian.
As SGH prescriptions are now digital, patients do not need to submit their paper prescriptions, although they may still do so. Prescriptions are usually for 12 months from the consultation date. The Guardian pharmacist places the order, and notes the patient’s preferred date, time and place for collection. The patient or caregiver then picks up the medication on the appointed day, time and location.
Patients, who will get their bill via SMS, do not have to return to SGH to pay for their medication. Instead, they can do so online via the SGH website or SingHealth’s Health Buddy app, or in person at any 7-Eleven store or Singapore Post branch.
SGH has been looking at different ways of making it easier for its patients to see their doctors and to collect their medications. In 2002, it introduced a medication delivery service, or MDS, which became more widely used after the COVID-19 pandemic began. Deliveries jumped to 23,000 in October 2020 from a monthly average of 2,500 in January 2020. It now accounts for about half of all outpatient prescriptions filled.
This also means thinner crowds at the hospital pharmacies, so more pharmacists can advise patients on various issues like the use of asthma devices.
Meanwhile, patients can get professional health advice on issues ranging from smoking cessation to diabetes care from Guardian pharmacists when they collect their medications. "Our pharmacists not only give advice on their conditions and medications, but also on lifestyle modifications," said Ms Chew.
Collect your medications from Guardian pharmacies at these locations during operating hours: AMK Hub, Bedok Mall, Causeway Point, Bukit Panjang Plaza, JEM, Jurong Point, NEX, Northpoint City, Paya Lebar Quarter, Tampines Mall, The Clementi Mall, Tiong Bahru Plaza, VivoCity, Waterway Point, White Sands, and Yew Tee MRT.
Medications that require refrigeration, bulky items, controlled drugs, and those that need to be administered immediately cannot be collected at Guardian pharmacies.
For more information on the service, visit
www.guardian.com.sg/services/medication-collection-service and www.sgh.com.sg/patientcare/visiting-specialist/Pages/MDS-medication-delivery.aspx.