September is pharmacy month, which means there’s a focus on educating the community about the services and support provided by the pharmaceutical industry and its professionals. Bloom Financial Services and Momentum Health4Me, in support of this initiative, have put the spotlight on the important role pharmacists play in the chain of essential healthcare support and care. Not only do pharmacists dispense medication but they also provide critical healthcare services in the form of medical advice and mental health support. Find out more about the role that your pharmacy and pharmacist plays in your healthcare and well-being.
What is a pharmacist and what do they do?
Pharmacists are trained and qualified healthcare professionals who specialise in the use, administration and storage of medicine. They fill prescriptions issued by doctors or other healthcare professionals and provide over-the-counter medication. In South Africa, there are distinctions made between a pharmacist and a pharmacist’s assistant. Pharmacists earn a qualifying degree and have specialist knowledge of medicine and drug-related products. They work in private or group pharmacies, hospitals, government or private clinics. A pharmacist’s assistant works collaboratively with the responsible pharmacist and sells retails goods to customers in the pharmacy, which extends to personal grooming items.
What kind of support can I expect to receive from my pharmacist?
Pharmacists play an integral role in your well-being as they form part of the healthcare network that is responsible for your health. Some of the services and support you can expect to receive from your pharmacist include:
- Confidentiality. A pharmacist is legally and ethically obligated to keep the personal and medical information you provide them with private. That means you can speak to your pharmacist in the strictest confidence regarding any medical or health-related matter that may concern you.
- Accessibility. A great benefit of pharmacists is their ease of accessibility. They hold a wealth of medical information and you don’t need an appointment to see one. Often, this is the first medical professional a person will see when they are feeling under the weather.
- Dispensing medication. Pharmacists are qualified to fill your prescriptions. You can take your doctor’s script to a pharmacist who will keep a medical history of your medication on their system. They can also provide you with appropriate over-the-counter medication.
- Providing expert advice. You just need to ask. Pharmacists are trained to answer general health questions, as are qualified to advise you about medicine and drug-related concerns. Don’t be embarrassed to ask questions. They’re there to help you by empowering you with knowledge.
- Health checks, immunisations and medical screenings. Pharmacists can perform simple health checks, like taking your blood pressure or temperature, checking your cholesterol or sugar levels. They can also diagnose simple medical complaints, like the common cold, skin rashes or headaches, and advise what medication you can take to alleviate your symptoms. Some pharmacies and pharmacists also provide certain vaccinations and immunisations, like the annual flu shot. Currently, pharmacies around South Africa are involved with the COVID-19 vaccination roll-out. You are encouraged to register for the vaccine on the official government portal.
- Family planning. Pharmacists are well-positioned to advise people on the best methods available for family planning. In some cases, they may refer you to a doctor or clinic for further assistance.
- Self-care and first aid. Pharmacists will have completed basic first-aid training so will be able to provide you with emergency care and assistance for minor illnesses or injuries. However, if the injury is deemed serious, they may refer you to the hospital’s emergency centre for professional intervention.
Mental health assistance. Pharmacists can provide those suffering from poor mental health with the support and care they need with drug therapy or by advising them about available services.
Momentum Health4Me participating pharmacies
All Momentum’s Health4Me health insurance plans cover an annual health screening test that assesses your risk for cardiovascular disease and general health. The assessment includes a blood pressure check, a cholesterol blood sugar finger prick test; and a weight measurement evaluation.
All these factors can play a critical role in determining whether you’re at risk for developing a serious heart disease or condition. Bloom recommends that you participate in the annual health screening tests in order to find out if you need to make any lifestyle adjustments to decrease your risk of developing cardiovascular disease. Health4Me plan members are also entitled to an annual flu shot, which we recommend you take during active flu season during the winter months.
The Momentum Health4Me Medipost Pharmacy is where you will receive your chronic medication, like HIV antiretrovirals or insulin for diabetes. Once your chronic medication benefit has been approved by one of our network GPs, you can either fax or email your prescription to 0866 82 33 17 or email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Visit one of our partner pharmacy clinics to get your annual health screening assessment or a flu shot. Please enquire beforehand whether you need to make a booking at these pharmacy clinics or if they accept walk-ins.
- Dis-Chem. Dis-Chem Pharmacies have a dedicated Wellness Clinic with a qualified nursing practitioner on-site. Contact them at 0861 117 427 or direct enquiries to email@example.com
- Clicks. The Clicks Group has 400 pharmacy clinics located countrywide. You can contact them at 0860 254 257 for more information or visit their vaccine portal clinicbookings.clicks.co.za to pre-book an appointment
- MediRite. There are MediRite Clinics at 90 Checkers Stores and 56 Shoprite Stores countrywide. Contact them at 0800 222 617 for more information
- Pick n Pay. Pick n Pay’s Pharmacy network is called MediKredit and they also have pharmacies located countrywide.
Taking your health seriously with a team of healthcare professionals
Bloom Financial Services is committed to providing our members with top-quality healthcare that includes access to and services from a wide network of healthcare professionals. Get affordable health insurance with Momentum Health4Me and guarantee your access to quality healthcare.
Contact our offices to speak to a trained health insurance consultant who can advise you about the options that best suit your medical requirements and your budget.
Medical Content Disclaimer
You understand and acknowledge that all users of the Bloom Financial Services website are responsible for their own medical care, treatment, and oversight. All content provided on the website, is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. Neither is it intended to be a substitute for an independent professional medical opinion, judgement, diagnosis or treatment.