The North West Department of Health (NW DoH) has reported an improvement in patient waiting times at provincial clinics following the implementation of the Central Chronic Medication Distribution and Delivery (CCMDD) programme.

The CCMDD programme allows stable patients on chronic medication to register at a health facility – where they originally got their prescription from – to collect the same medicine at a convenient pick-up point such as their nearest pharmacy, general practitioner or supermarket.

Once the registration process is complete, the patient receives an SMS to collect their medication from the chosen pick-up point.

Earlier this year, Health Minister Dr Aaron Motsoaledi announced that the National Department of Health (NDoH) was rolling out the CCMDD programme in preparation of National Health Insurance (NHI). As of May 2016 there were 400,000 patients enrolled nationally on the programme, accessing their medicines from over 1,000 pick-up points. The NDoH aims to reach 800,000 patients by the end of 2016.

According to the NW Health MEC, Magome Masike, the model was introduced by the NW DoH to relieve the workload at health facilities and to reduce the cost of accessing free healthcare.

“The model will help reduce long queues at our health facilities, generally caused by people collecting chronic medication. We are happy that our people understand and have welcomed the new changes,” said MEC Masike.

Masike added that the NW DoH has partnered with a number of private pharmacies and general practitioners to dispense chronic medication at no cost to the patients.

“Since the inception of the CCMDD model, a sizable number of dispensary points have been established across the province and are dispensing medication to over 80,000 chronic patients,” said MEC Masike.

According to the NW DoH, patients are required to go back to the health facility after six months for a check-up and a new prescription.

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