The Importance of Pharmacy-Adjacent Doctors in Primary CareBy Marcos Pascual | Tue, 06/01/2021 - 09:07
The World Health Organization (WHO) has stated that, “Health is a fundamental human right indispensable for the exercise of other human rights. Every human being is entitled to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health conducive to living a life in dignity.” Yet, vulnerable and marginal groups in society are used to having fewer possibilities to receive the right to health. Access and care should be timely and accessible.
To that end, the work that doctors in consulting rooms adjacent to pharmacies (CAF) do should be recognized because they already accomplish the fundamental principle of providing first contact, immediate care to the national population in our country.
Consider the following relevant data regarding CAF:
- There are 18,000 consulting rooms attached to pharmacies in Mexico
- The average number of doctors per consulting room is 1.5 in some cases depending on patient traffic. In some cases, two doctors per shift are available. The number of doctors attached to CAF totals 24,000 across the country.
- The average number of consultations is 360,000 per day and 10 million per month. During the most difficult months of the pandemic, CAF attended an average of 100,000 patients, with COVID-19, and even more.
The 18,000 private consulting rooms attached to pharmacies provide consultations to people suffering symptoms such as fever, loss of smell or other irregularities and low oxygenation. Many of these people have symptoms that require care in secondary or tertiary medical institutions but they have a fear of being hospitalized, whether for economic reasons or because of negative stories they’ve heard.
During the pandemic, CAF took necessary actions to protect patients. These include:
- All CAF have oximeters and thermometers.
- They maintained a healthy distance between patients in their waiting rooms
More than 30 percent of doctors have had symptoms of COVID and just under 5% have unfortunately died. Deputy Minister of Health Hugo Lopez-Gatell, in January of this year, published on his twitter account a national voluntary census coordinated by ANAFARMEX with the following results:
- Avoid the duplicity of vaccinated doctors because less than the 10 percent of them work in the IMSS or an official institution
- Privacy rights were handled with care
- College degree, identification card and company credential are a must for all doctor registrations
- Registration periods have start and end dates. There has to be a limit of time.
- Private distribution centers were offered to provide mass application of the vaccine. All under government indications.
The necessity of getting doctors vaccinated and protecting them was our objective in this voluntary census by ANAFARMEX. At the moment the number of hospitalizations due to COVID has been going down across the country and there is no red traffic light in any localization during May and June. That’s why our present concern is about patients with other ailments in our institutions. Patients with diabetes and other chronic degenerative diseases who usually visit their clinics or government hospitals have been kept at home.
Patients with diabetic foot, hypertension and overweight were constants in our CAF during March, April and May of this year. Therefore, using technology platforms accredited by ANAFARMEX and its specialized website, we are creating the “CLUB WELLNESS ANAFARMEX,” where the health and capacitation of all of our doctors is the most important factor to your wellness.
We’ll continue working to convince federal and state authorities about the importance of considering and recognizing pharmacy-adjacent doctors as allies of the primary healthcare