Medicine in motion: Patients receive chronic medical care at their convenience

Medicine in motion: Patients receive chronic medical care at their convenienceChronic medicine parcels will be collected at the clinic, scanned to the electronic device, delivered to the patient, and scanned once again to confirm delivery. Photo: Health-e/ Itumeleng Tau

Anyone who uses chronic medication understands that admin involved in getting it month-to-month. Now, a bicycle delivery service is revolutionising the system.

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The Department of Health has introduced a bicycle delivery service to its Central Chronic Medication Dispensing and Distribution (CCMDD) programme in the Gert Sibande District in Mpumalanga. 

The programme makes use of private pharmacy outlets as the pick-up points for chronic medication, with the main objective to improve access to antiretrovirals and chronic medicines for stable patients reliant on public health care.

From the clinic direct to you

The bicycle delivery service is meant for CCMDD participating patients who prefer their chronic medication parcels to be delivered at home or a convenient address of their choice. 

Other options in the CCMDD programme include patients collecting medication at a clinic or collection at a contracted pick up point at a pharmacy.

Improving access and opportunities 

Dumisani Malamule, Department of Health spokesperson says it is a youth development initiative too. The service, he says, is managed and fully coordinated by the CCMDD service provider, Pharmacy Direct in collaboration with the National Youth Development Agency. 

The delivery staff will be provided with bicycles, protective gear, an electronic device, and a two weeks training on entrepreneurship. Chronic medicine parcels will be collected at the clinic, scanned to the electronic device, delivered to the patient, and scanned once again to confirm delivery.

According to the department, the reasons behind this new initiative is to create youth employment through business developments, improve access to chronic medication, ensure adherence to medication and reduce defaulter rate as well as reduce the influx of stable chronic patients to the facilities and reduce patient waiting time.

Talking to Health-e News,  Malamule says the bicycles will be equally distributed to all health care facilities. “High volume facilities will be allocated at least two bicycles depending on the number of clients opting for a bicycle delivery service. The district is currently piloting the service in 16 health facilities.”

Currently, there are 104 233 patients in the district enrolled in the CCMDD programme, and 84 health facilities participating, he adds. 

He explains: “The bicycle delivery service is not only meant for antiretroviral medication but all chronic medication that treats diabetes, hypertension and so on.”  – Health-e News