Half a million digital prescriptions issued for POYC beneficiaries

Private family doctors have been able to issue a digital prescription since last October and in the last few months alone, 90 doctors had issued 284 of these prescriptions without a hitch

Ministry of Health Chris Fearne
Ministry of Health Chris Fearne

Half a million prescriptions have been handed out so far using the computerised prescription platform that was first rolled out two and a half years ago, Health Minister Chris Fearne announced on Friday.

Speaking at the Pharmacy of Your Choice (POYC) centre at St. Luke’s Hospital, Fearne said that after the system had started operating at the POYC centre, it was then extended to health centres, before also being extended to private family doctors last October.

"The system has a number of advantages, since for starters it's a system that limits the number of human errors. It also sees that there is continuity of treatment doled out to patients by different doctors," Fearne said, insisting that it was more cost effective as it reduced waste and overstocking of medicine, and that it increased efficiency because it meant that doctors spend less time writing up prescriptions and more time seeing patients.

In the last few months, 90 private doctors alone issed 284 digital prescriptions, he added.

"Our aim is to continue seeing this system being used by family doctors. We have already seen support for this system by the Family Doctors Association," Fearne said. 

The Chief Executive of the POYC scheme, Celia Falzon said that the government expenditure for this scheme is €40 million per year.

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