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First day with confusion

Posted August. 01, 2000 21:06,   


On August 1, the first day of overall implementation of the separation of pharmacies from doctors` offices, patients receiving prescriptions that had to be filled outside clinics and hospitals experienced major inconveniences, as they were not used to the new system. But if a one-month grace had not been initiated even more confusion might have ensued.

However, some drug stores were not properly prepared and did not have some medicine, so patients searching for prescribed medicine strongly complained. In the capital area, the closures of borough clinics and a contemporaneous strike of specialist doctors forced patients to search for clinics that were open and crowd into general hospitals, practically crippling these operations.

The Ministry of Health and Welfare stated that, as of August 1, 53.7% of a total of 14,422 drug stores finished preparations for the separation. Therefore, it seems that during the first one to two months, while the drug stores complete their medicine preparations, inconveniences will continue.

While inconveniences have not yet reached extremes, at most hospitals, medical college professors and full time doctors are treating patients. If the specialist doctors` strike lasts very long, it is forecast that inconveniences will be exacerbated.