SINGAPORE - Patients from the Singapore General Hospital (SGH) can now collect their medications from 11 designated Guardian stores, adding to a range of options for picking up prescriptions that offer greater convenience and accessibility, said the hospital.
More than 40 patients have used the service since it debuted last month, and Guardian may expand the number of stores on the scheme if customer feedback is good, said Ms Grace Chew, manager of pharmacy practice at Guardian Health and Beauty.
To order their medications, patients must drop off their prescription forms at any Guardian outlet with a pharmacy, with at least three working days' notice. The pharmacist will then place the order, which can be collected at one of the 11 stores, at a date and time of the patient's choosing.
All medications can be filled, aside from those which require refrigeration, or need to be administered immediately.
The cost of the medications is still paid to SGH, and an SMS will be sent to patients once their medical bill is ready for viewing on the SGH website or on SingHealth's Health Buddy app.
Payment can be made online or at any 7-Eleven stores or Singapore Post branches.
There are more than 80 Guardian stores with pharmacies, and the locations of the 11 were chosen based on SGH's medicine delivery service, which can be to homes or to 24-hour parcel lockers at selected Singhealth polyclinics.
Since the pandemic began, SGH's pharmacy department has seen "an exponential rise" in the number of medicine deliveries, from 2,500 per month to 23,000 currently, making up nearly half of all outpatient prescriptions filled.
SGH pharmacy practice manager Lim Ching Hui said the partnership is in alignment with national goals to move beyond the hospital setting and to enhance community care closer to one's home.
"We aim to provide more choices for self-collection, especially for patients and caregivers who are not available during SGH Pharmacy's opening hours or find it inconvenient to travel to SGH just to collect medicine," said Ms Lim.
By extending its medicine collection initiative to Guardian, which has the "largest community pharmacy network" in Singapore, patients could also receive expertise and advice from their pharmacists at the same time, she added.
Most prescriptions are for elderly patients who require medication for chronic conditions, and it is often their family members who will pick up the prescriptions, said Ms Chew.
Patients can collect their medications from stores at the following locations:
Ang Mo Kio Hub
White Sands Mall
Bukit Panjang Plaza
The Clementi Mall
JEM Shopping Centre
Jurong Point Shopping Centre
Paya Lebar Quarter
Tiong Bahru Plaza