Retiree Yoo Bee Eng, 64, a caregiver to a patient of Singapore General Hospital, collecting the patient's medication from a Guardian store yesterday. ST PHOTO: NG SOR LUAN
Over 40 patients have used service since last month; number of stores may be expanded
Patients of Singapore General Hospital (SGH) can now collect their medication from 11 designated Guardian stores.
This adds to a range of options for picking up prescriptions that offers greater convenience and accessibility, said the hospital.
More than 40 patients have used the service since it debuted last month, and Guardian may expand the number of stores on the scheme if customer feedback is good, said Ms Grace Chew, manager of pharmacy practice at Guardian Health and Beauty.
To order their medication, patients can drop off their prescription forms at any Guardian outlet with a pharmacy.
The pharmacist will then place the order, and after three working days, the patient can collect the medication at one of the 11 stores, at a date and time of his choosing.
All prescriptions can be filled, aside from those for medication that requires refrigeration or must be administered immediately.
The payment for the medication is still made to SGH, and an SMS will be sent to patients once their medical bill is ready for viewing on the SGH website or on SingHealth's Health Buddy app.
Payment can be made online or at any 7-Eleven store or Singapore Post branch.
There are more than 80 Guardian stores with pharmacies. The locations of the 11 stores were chosen based on where SGH's medication delivery service makes most of its deliveries.
The hospital's service can deliver medication to homes or to 24-hour parcel lockers at selected SingHealth polyclinics.
Since the Covid-19 pandemic began, SGH's pharmacy department has seen the number of medicine deliveries rise from 2,500 a month to 23,000 currently, making up almost half of all outpatient prescriptions filled.
|>80 Number of Guardian stores with pharmacies. The locations of the 11 stores where Singapore General Hospital (SGH) patients can pick up their medicine were chosen based on where SGH's medicine delivery service makes most of its deliveries.|
Ms Lim Ching Hui, pharmacy practice manager at SGH, said the partnership with Guardian is in line with national goals to move beyond the hospital setting and enhance community care closer to patients' homes.
"We aim to provide more choices for self-collection, especially for patients and caregivers who are not available during SGH Pharmacy's opening hours or find it inconvenient to travel to SGH just to collect medicine," said Ms Lim.
With the extension of the hospital's medicine collection initiative to Guardian, which has the "largest community pharmacy network" here , patients could also receive expertise and advice from their pharmacists at the same time, she added.
Most prescriptions are for elderly patients who need medication for chronic conditions, and it is often their family members who pick up the medication, said Ms Chew.