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Free health checks at chemists


First it was contraceptives and then childhood vaccines that state patients could have at a fraction of the price at private pharmacies. Now patients will get health screenings free - thanks to an agreement between Western Cape health authorities and community pharmacies. Yesterday, Health MEC Theuns Botha launched the wellness centres project, which will see pharmacies providing routine screening such as blood pressure tests, blood sugar and HIV testing among other services. Botha said the initiative would see pharmacies giving at least 10 percent of their time for free health screenings. The new project will be based on the model where selected pharmacies provide services such as family planning to state patients. The provincial department of health will provide HIV kits to chemists such as Dis-Chem, Clicks pharmacies in Gugulethu and Mitchells Plain, and Metropolitan Health centres in the city. Botha said the initiative would not only decrease patient waiting times, but that it would also help decongest public health facilities. He said for public health managers it meant they would able to focus on the core of their work as well as the delivery of services.

Sipokazi Fokazi: Cape Argus, 12 March 2013

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