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"Difficulties getting a prescription filled"

About: Rockingham General Hospital / Pharmacy

(as the patient),

I have a life-threatening illness that if I don't take medication for I die! The medication can only be prescribed by a Doctor from a hospital and only dispensed through a hospital pharmacy, to keep this story within the 1000 words.

I ended up having to contact the Prof. of the Dept of Gastroenterology at a different hospital who had a subordinate write the prescription.

Finally, they get a prescription down to RKGH. I went in to pick them up, only to be told they can't give them to me because the script was written on the other hospital's prescription which I believe all boils down to money.

They suggested I drive up to that hospital to get the script filled. Not only would I have not made it in time, I am disabled, and I have trouble walking, I told RKGH that I was unable to walk and that it was my life they were messing with.

Then I had to wait for one Pharmacy to contact the other Pharmacy to approve the release of the medication, which I might add RKGH had on hand because, I believe, I'm the only local person that requires it.

I said they have the script, give me the meds. They said no and I asked why. I was told they have to sort the money out first. According to RKGH the Pharmacy is allocated funds to buy in the medication, the medication I talk isn't cheap. According to them, they had to do 50/50 split in the cost of giving me the medication.

My question is if all public hospitals fall under WA Health Dept, why did I have to wait 2 1/2 hours?

I also contacted RKGH feedback/complaints service and I let them know what had transpired.

Responses

Response from Kath Smith, Executive Director, Rockingham Peel Group, South Metropolitan Health Service last week
Kath Smith
Executive Director, Rockingham Peel Group,
South Metropolitan Health Service
Submitted on 11/01/2021 at 12:14
Published on Care Opinion on 12/01/2021 at 10:40


picture of Kath Smith

Dear atlasm37,

Thank you for taking the time to share your recent experience with us.

I am so sorry to hear that you had so much difficulty receiving your script from our Pharmacy Department. I have been advised that delays occur when Pharmacy staff are required to confirm details of the prescriber if they are not on our system which can happen when the script is from a different Consultant at another hospital. This delay should, therefore, not occur for you again as the RGH Pharmacy will have confirmed the ongoing arrangements for your prescriptions.

I sincerely understand your frustration and apologise again for the time you spent waiting for your script. I do, however, stress that we are obligated to ensure that all full details and confirmation of any transfer of scripts is acquired, not only to ensure our records are correct but also to ensure the details of the transfer are thoroughly checked by our Head of Department for Pharmacy. This is so that you receive your exact script and that details of additional prescribers are added to your file.

I thank you once again for taking the time to share your recent experience with us and I wish you all the very best for your ongoing treatment.

Regards

Kath Smith

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Update posted by atlasrn37 (the patient)

Dear Kath

This isn't the first time I have had a prescription from Fiona Stanley Hospital, that I have presented to RKGH, so I am sorry I am going to disagree with you about the confirmation needed to confirm the prescription.

When this happened the first time the Head of Pharmacy at RKGH explained to me, that my particular medication was expensive, that RKGH was given a budget, and because the script I had given them was from FSH, they needed to arrange with FSH to pay half of the cost. So in my opinion it boiled down to the money, and who was going to pay to give me my medication.

I thought all Public Hospitals fell under the Department of Health umbrella, so what difference does it make where the medication is dispensed from? More so since RKGH had my medication on hand, as I'm the only person in this area that needs it.

RKGH wouldn't give me the medication without a prescription (even though I need it to stay alive), I asked them for a few days supply to tide me over the weekend until I could get a prescription, I was told no, I needed a script. Then when I got a script because it wasn't an RKGH prescription form, I was told to go up to FSH to pick it up. As I stated in my earlier complaint, I am disabled, that and there was a time restriction, even if I could have made it to FSH, I wouldn't have made it in time (yet another day I would have to go without my meds).

To me as a patient, it was just red tape BS, I felt RKGH could and should have dispensed my meds, and sorted out the finances with FSH at a later time instead of keeping me waiting.

As a rule, I have a Support Worker or a friend who picks it up for me, they wouldn't have known what to do in this instance, and I would have in all likelihood have gone yet another day without, putting my life on the line.

Please correct me if I am wrong but do not all Public Hospitals fall under the WA Department of Health?

Regards

Response from Kath Smith, Executive Director, Rockingham Peel Group, South Metropolitan Health Service last week
Kath Smith
Executive Director, Rockingham Peel Group,
South Metropolitan Health Service
Submitted on 14/01/2021 at 18:23
Published on Care Opinion on 15/01/2021 at 10:10


picture of Kath Smith

Dear atlasm37,

Thank you for your feedback and apologies for any confusion. The pharmacies at different public hospitals are not ‘one and the same’ and we do need to have arrangements in place with each other.

I have spoken to the Director of Clinical Services and he would be happy to speak with you about all that you have raised concerns about, so we may better meet your specific needs moving forward.

You can reach him via his Executive Assistant, Jodie Whitaker, on 9599 4330.

Thank you again for your feedback.

Regards

Kath Smith

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