Saudi medical centers implement delivery services, drive-throughs, to combat COVID-19
JEDDAH: With curfews having been imposed on a number of cities across the Kingdom as a method of combating the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), some health institutions have launched home delivery services for their outpatients to encourage social distancing and avoid crowding.
Qiya Hospital in Taif reports that it has delivered 263 lots of medication so far.
North Medical Tower in Arar is publicizing its delivery service with the tagline, “Don’t come to us. We’ll come to you.” At the moment, the service is intended for outpatients with chronic diseases. Patients can send a WhatsApp message to 01466 194 77 — and should be sure to include the patient’s details and required medication.
King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Center in Riyadh has launched its “drive-through pharmacy,” allowing medicine to be picked up at the hospital’s Gate 5 so that there is no need for visitors to enter the premises.
The director of the hospital’s pharmaceutical care department, Dr. Abdulrazaq Al-Jazairi, told Arab News: “Once a doctor has prescribed the drug to a patient via a telephone or online consultation, then the pharmaceutical team are notified. The pharmacist then reviews the medicine and ascertains their doses, contacting the doctor if needed. Once the drug is ready, the pharmacist will call the patient to determine the best way to deliver the medicine to them.”
Those methods include postal delivery (demand for which Al-Jazairi says has tripled in recent weeks) and the drive-through pharmacy.
Since the launch of the drive-through pharmacy, 5,730 prescriptions have been picked up, with around 1,000 patients being serviced daily.
Al-Jazairi said that the initiative was “put together within 72 hours” because of the urgent need to protect patients during the pandemic.
He stressed that it offers easy access to treatment while simultaneously promoting social distancing, ensuring a safe environment for the patient and medical staff.
The hospital has also introduced other services to ensure easy access to medication, including allowing patients to request a repeat prescription without contacting a doctor.