Letters to the Editor
Assisting Aboriginal patients with medication management
- Jon Hunt, Cathy Larkin, Richard Murray
- Aust Prescr 2006;29:123-5
- 1 December 2006
- DOI: 10.18773/austprescr.2006.090
The Editorial Executive Committee welcomes letters, which should be less than 250 words. Before a decision to publish is made, letters which refer to a published article may be sent to the author for a response. Any letter may be sent to an expert for comment. When letters are published, they are usually accompanied in the same issue by their responses or comments. The Committee screens out discourteous, inaccurate or libellous statements. The letters are sub-edited before publication. Authors are required to declare any conflicts of interest. The Committee's decision on publication is final.
Editor, – I agree with the letter from Dr Peter Lake regarding assisting Aboriginal patients with access to medicines (Aust Prescr 2006;29:59-60). I work in an Aboriginal Health Service in Port Augusta and we are often the first point of call of people coming down from Anungu Pitjantjatjara Lands. They often present with an empty dosette which is meant to be full of cardiovascular drugs. Sometimes there is no dosette at all. We then have to find, amongst other things, their Centrelink Health Care Card number before we can even think about prescribing.
They generally, and not surprisingly, have no idea as to the bureaucratic requirements of the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme. In the interests of compliance, our health service will pay for the drugs, provided they have their Health Care Card. We spend around $100 000 on this each year - none of which we receive funding for. Surely Section 100 should be attached to the patient and not to their address?
Pika Wiya Health Services
Port Augusta, SA
General practitioner, Pika Wiya Health Services Port Augusta, SA
Pharmacist Academic, Kimberley Aboriginal Medical Services Council, Broome, Western Australia, and
Planning Director, Rural Clinical School, James Cook University, Townsville, Queensland