Barbadians will now have to pay if they want drugs from Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH) delivered to their doorstep.
The service, which launched during the COVID-19 lockdown period, was initially funded by QEH. However, due to the high costs associated with the initiative, patients who have their medication delivered will now have to pay $ 10 or $ 16.
In a press release on Thursday, QEH said that as of December 1, the hospital was working with the Barbados Postal Service and Hopscotch to facilitate deliveries.
âThere will be a number of changes to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital medication delivery service for its outpatient clients starting Tuesday, December 1, 2020. Among these changes, Barbados Postal Service will join Hopscotch to facilitate delivery of medication and one A minimal delivery charge of $ 10 or $ 16 based on the size of the tamper-evident packaging required to safely transport the requested medication will be instituted. The revenues generated by these delivery charges will be used for the maintenance and future sustainability of the service, âthe statement said.
Louise Bobb, director of support services at QEH, defended the charges associated with the delivery service, saying that in some cases it could cost more if people had to take multiple buses to and from QEH.
She also pointed out that tamper-evident envelopes would be used to transport the drug, making it a safe option.
“If you were to take two buses, it would cost around $ 14, so it’s a reasonable fare and hardly $ 16, because the package for the $ 10 fee can hold multiple drugs.” The $ 16 is really only for big boxes and so on, so people hardly have to pay for that, ânoted Bobb.
She explained that patients can always choose to collect their medication from the hospital.
However, she said the delivery service was put in place to reduce traffic at QEH due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The hospital pharmacy fills approximately 1,000 prescriptions per day.
âThe goal of this initiative is to reduce congestion in the hospital during this time of COVID-19. If you don’t need to be here, this home delivery service will save you the hassle of going to the hospital.
âThose people who have repeat meds, you don’t have to come here to complete your repeat,â Bobb said.