[WATCH] Electronic registry will allow doctors to view medicines prescribed to POYC patients

A new centralised electronic registry will list the medicines prescribed for patients on the Pharmacy of Your Choice scheme

Health Minister Chris Fearne said a new electronic registry for POYC clients will benefit patients and help cut down waste
Health Minister Chris Fearne said a new electronic registry for POYC clients will benefit patients and help cut down waste
Chris Fearne unveils new POYC electronic register

An electronic registry containing the medicinal prescriptions of all patients using the Pharmacy of Your Choice Scheme was unveiled on Tuesday.

The registry will give doctors access to their patients’ medicinal records at any time and allow them to change medication details as the need arises.

Through the system, the doctors will also be able to register new patients and apply for their Schedule V document - known as the Yellow Card - which they require to receive free medicine under the POYC scheme. 

The patients could then pick up their Yellow Card without having to take any papers with them, since all necessary information would be accessible electronically by any doctor, nurse or carer.

Health Minister Chris Fearne said the new electronic system would be benefitting both the 143,000 patients using POYC, as well as the government.

"Patients will receive a better service with less inconvenience, while the government will waste less medicine through incorrect dosage listings, since the registry will contain all the updated information," Fearne said.

Over the next year, the government plans to make the electronic registry available to the 221 pharmacies in Malta which are POYC-registered. This should further facilitate the dispensing of medicines from such pharmacies.

The Yellow Card can be extended to 10 years in some cases
The Yellow Card can be extended to 10 years in some cases

The POYC scheme now distributes 250 million medicinal products a year, and has a €28 million budget.

Yellow Card can be extended to 10 years

Fearne also announced that the Yellow Cards' validity will now be able to be extended from the previous maximum of five years to 10, at doctors' discretion.

"There are patients who remain on the same medication and dosage for many years, so the government has launched a new initiative to extend the Yellow Card's maximum validity period to 10 years, reducing the number of card renewal applications by 3,000 a month," Fearne highlighted.

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