SINGAPORE: From next year, patients with prescriptions from different public healthcare institutions will be able to have their medication consolidated into just one parcel and delivered to them, the Ministry of Health (MOH) said on Friday (Mar 5).
MOH said that it will set up two National Central Fill Pharmacies (NCFPs) to consolidate medication orders across multiple providers into a single parcel, as part of efforts to “make medication delivery more convenient for patients and caregivers”.
While medication delivery to homes is currently available, the public healthcare institutions have different systems in place and deliver the medications separately.
Aside from convenience, the new model will also help shorten delivery time, said MOH, adding that the order will be delivered to a patient’s home, secured post boxes or other locations that are convenient to them.
The first phase of the National Central Fill Pharmacies is scheduled to begin early next year. As a start, they will be set up and operated by SingHealth Polyclinics and National Healthcare Group Pharmacy for patients on chronic medication.
This will later be extended to public hospital patients through a phased approach, MOH said.
Home delivery services by individual institutions are “resource-intensive” and require “quite a bit of infrastructural set-up”, MOH said.
“When we went back to the individual hospitals and discussed this with their chief pharmacists, we had a very easy consensus that we could do this at a national level and allow for an infrastructure to be set up at scale,” MOH said.
The National Central Fill Pharmacies model will also ensure that teleconsultation is uniformly provided to all patients who opt for medication delivery, the ministry said.
NEW REHAB FRAMEWORK
MOH also announced a new rehabilitation framework, in a move to “ensure that our population has timely access to the right level of rehabilitation care”.
MOH said it worked with practitioners in public hospitals, polyclinics and the community care sector to develop the National One-Rehab framework.
The core components of the framework include a standardised classification system that outlines the needs and pathways for a patient’s rehabilitation journey. It also includes a set of rehabilitation outcomes for common conditions requiring rehabilitation.
dditionally, the framework also includes a One-Rehab care plan, which will track the “end-to-end patient care plan” as they move from hospital to the community, MOH said.
MOH said the framework will strengthen rehabilitation care in several ways, for instance, by improving the clarity of each patient’s rehabilitation journey through standardised criteria. It will also help therapists and patients track the progress towards defined outcomes and goals, as well as improve patients’ access to an expanded scope of community rehabilitation services, the ministry said.
“Rehabilitation services will be expanded in the community and primary care settings to enable better access to care by patients,” MOH said.
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For example, patients with stable musculoskeletal conditions such as lower back pain, who do not require surgery or complex interventions, will be able to receive rehabilitation care at the polyclinics and community-based facilities such as Senior Care Centres and Day Rehab Centres, MOH said.
“This will reduce the need for an appointment at the acute hospitals which can focus their capacities to attend to patients with more complex rehabilitation care needs.”