Public healthcare patients can now collect medication from e-lockers

E-lockers at District Six Health Care Centre.

Public healthcare patients with stable chronic conditions won’t have to wait in queues anymore to collect their medication, thanks to the launch of new e-lockers in the city.

The Collect & Go E-Lockers are medicine dispensing units, which will allow patients to collect their monthly medicine.

The e-lockers have been launched as a pilot project at 11 healthcare facilities including District Six Community Day Centre.

The lockers are fitted with air-conditioning units with remote temperature monitors for optimal storage conditions.

E-lockers project manager, Gillian Makota, said a patient will receive an SMS with a one-time PIN (OTP) to collect their monthly medication parcel after signing up for the service.

“The e-locker consists of a console unit with pigeon holes (like a Post Office box) to load and unload medicine parcels.

“Using the touch screen interface, patients will enter their one-time PIN code and the specific locker door opens. The patient can then collect their medicines safely and securely.”

When it’s time for patients to receive a new prescription, an SMS will be sent to remind the patient of collection.

Residents can collect their medication without any face-to-face contact, keeping themselves, fellow patients and healthcare staff safe during the pandemic.

“The lockers are Covid-19 friendly. While it allows us to safely deliver medication, it also improves patient access to pre-dispensed medication parcels, which means that patients do not have to go queue at the facilities for medicine collection and this reduces waiting time. It also offers convenient times for medicine collection, with 24-hour access to the facilities. In addition to this, it means that we can retain patients in our care and promote adherence to treatment,” said Ms Makota.

The e-lockers have also been launched at Heideveld Community Health Centre; Gugulethu Community Health Centre; Mitchell’s Plain Community Health Centre; Khayelitsha District Hospital; Eerste River Hospital; Nomzamo Community Health Centre; Kraaifontein Community Health Centre; Delft Community Health Centre; Elsies River Community Health Centre and Lady Michaelis Community Day Centre.

Public healthcare patients who have chronic conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure, HIV, asthma and other conditions can register at their local healthcare facility. Patients must be evaluated and declared clinically stable by a clinician before being enrolled on the programme.

Residents are encouraged to use the service, which was launched in other provinces, including Gauteng, Free State, Mpumalanga and Limpopo.

The lockers are supported by a call centre to deal with any issues that may arise. Patients who have enquiries about the service can contact their local healthcare facility or the call centre by using the toll-free helpline at 080 001 4945.