Pharmacies Grow Their Role as Health ProvidersBy Miriam Bello | Wed, 01/06/2021 - 11:22
Q: What are the benefits and disadvantages of having a doctor’s office adjacent to a pharmacy?
A: Pharmacy offices offer three advantages to users. The most obvious is convenience, since they offer proximity, long hours and short waiting times. The second advantage is the low cost. The fee of a single visit is low and prescriptions usually refer to active ingredients instead of brands, which benefits the user economically. The third advantage is their level of service. Independent and serious surveys give pharmacy-adjacent offices the highest level of customer satisfaction, at the same level as traditional private offices. The main pending that is necessary to work on with pharmacy offices is to improve their reputation as they offer hundreds of thousands of daily consultations and they are normally the first point of contact with the patient thanks to their wide coverage.
Pharmacy offices can also do more in terms of prevention and timely detection of chronic diseases. The easiest thing is to train doctors and establish protocols. However, the challenge is for the user to see these places as an option for prevention and care.
Q: What is your opinion regarding doctors’ wages?
A: As president of ANADIM, I collaborated in developing and promoting a code of ethics that was endorsed by the General Health Council, CCE and ANTAD. The document specifies that doctors’ wages must be calculated according to their time and effort, never to the prescription, which I believe is met in most cases.
Q: What have you observed during the COVID-19 emergency regarding telemedicine?
A: Telemedicine has grown significantly. Many doctors at the beginning of the health emergency canceled their medical consultations and only worked remotely. There is evidence of the great boost resulting from telemedicine, regardless of the age or profile of the doctor using this technology.
Unfortunately, consultations are offered with tools not designed for this work, with the most popular channel being WhatsApp. Today, there are many tools that save the clinical history or that help the doctor with the diagnosis. Regulatory changes are required to foster their use and to create awareness. Telemedicine is undoubtedly appreciated by a patient who cannot visit a doctor.
Q: What impact has the COVID-19 pandemic had on drive-through care and home service?
A: During the worst months of the pandemic, the services doubled in demand. However, as people returned to their activities, growth has been limited. Many operational changes were required to support the demand.
Farmacias YZA is a pharmacy chain with locations in Baja California, Baja California Sur, Campeche, Chiapas, Mexico City, Guanajuato, Jalisco, Nuevo León, Querétaro, Quintana Roo, Sinaloa, Sonora, Tabasco, Veracruz, Yucatan and Oaxaca. Its branches offer 24-hour service, a doctor's office, drive-through care and home service.