Jamaica Gleaner / Residents of Mocho district and its environs in north Clarendon are welcoming the introduction of a free pharmacy service at the health clinic in the community.
Instead of making the trek to the May Pen Hospital to fill their prescriptions, residents will now make use of the drop box at the clinic and wait to collect their medication the following day.
The service comes free of cost, courtesy of a partnership between the National Health Fund and the Clarendon Health Department, through the initiative of councillor for the division, Romaine Morris.
He said that he was ‘unofficially’ carrying out the service even before being elected as councillor. Working with the Clarendon Health Department and living in the area, he would assist the elderly by taking in their prescriptions and having them filled. However, soon he was acting as a courier for not only the elderly, but almost everyone in the community, as word spread about what he was doing.
“I would be taking medication for almost everybody living in my community,” Morris told The Gleaner . “So, seeing that this service was needed, I wrote several times to have the programme available but, unfortunately, it didn’t bear fruition,” he said.
NO GIVING UP
However, he didn’t give up on making it a reality. He credits his involvement in the community’s welfare as the main reason for getting the better of his competitor in the November 2016 Local Government Election.
The programme is aiding some 300 persons, mainly elderly with chronic illnesses, per month.
“The service reduced the need to travel to May Pen; and, for low income earners, saving an average of $800 per trip is a big deal,” the councillor pointed out.
He said the establishment of the drop box also assisted the health ministry in its efforts to reduce patients’ waiting time at health facilities.
Looking ahead, Morris said he is excited about the $10 million pledged by Minister of Health Dr Christopher Tufton last month at the official launch of the programme. The money will be used for the improvement of the clinic’s facilities as well as to set up a pharmacy there, which will eventually eliminate the overnight wait for medication.