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The impact of South African medical aid scheme regulations of designated service providers on independent community pharmacies in the Chatsworth area.

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Date

2018

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Abstract

Community pharmacies plays a vital role in providing primary health care to the community, since they are easily accessible. The objective of the study was to evaluate the impact of medical aid scheme regulations of Designated Service Providers on the future of independent community pharmacies as well as how this regulation as affected patient care. A qualitative study was employed at eight independently owned community pharmacies in the Chatsworth area. Data were collected using semi-structured interviews and permission was gained from each participant to record the interview. The data was then transcribed and analysed using NVivo software. With regards to the impact of Designated Service Providers on the future of independent community pharmacies the following themes were identified: financial strain, pharmacist as an entrepreneur as decreased and customer relationship has been strained. Similarly, to identify how the regulation as affected patient care these themes of patients’ rights, generic substitution and penalty co-payments were among the few that was revealed. The study also identified the challenges faced by independent community pharmacies with patients due to the medical aid scheme regulations which were compromised quality of patient care, monitoring patient medicine profile and the changing role of a pharmacist. Revisiting legislation and framework for pharmacy is necessary to ensure that optimal pharmaceutical is rendered to the patient.

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Master’s degree. University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban.

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