By Euro Weekly News Media • 10 June 2014 • 10:22
COST CUTTING: some hospitals are asking patients to bring in their own medicines to avoid paying out
HEALTH professionals from hospitals in the province of Alicante are reportedly advising patients with chronic illnesses needing daily medication to bring their own medicine with them to hospital.
Patients say that once admitted to hospital for whatever reason, they are being asked to bring their medication with them from home to save the hospital pharmacy issuing more drugs and therefore, spending money.
Unions CCOO and UGT said: “If the patient agrees to bring them from home the hospital is saving money. If, however, the patient refuses to follow the guidelines recommended they will be supplied them as the most important thing is the health of the person. Although, with increasing frequency, the economic cost has a significant weight. A few years ago patients would not have been asked and hospitals would supply all medicines.”
Nursing union Satse argues that the request for drugs is in an attempt to ensure the patient does not change brands during the days they are in hospital.
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This is also happening in the UK as well. My brother lives in Cambridge and was recently sent his admissions letter for a surgical procedure. At the bottom of the letter he was asked to bring pain medication of his choice as the ward would not be providing it. Also, it isnt that unusual for hospitals to ask patients to bring in routine chronic medication with them. I have seen this happen many times on the wards I have worked on and see no problem with it so long as nursing staff and patient ensure they continue to take their chronic medication. This system doesn’t prevent any new or emergency drugs being prescribed. Its makes sense really, since the medication has already been partially, if not wholly, funded by whichever health service is concerned, so to provide it yet again when the patient is in hospital and already has a usable supply is really a waste of already precious hospital resources.
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