Community rallies to pay prescriptions
Fri, 28 Dec 2012 6:03p.m.
By Jerram Watts
On New Year's Day prescription charges rise from $3 to $5, but already many families can't afford to pick up all their prescriptions.
One pharmacy in Porirua says it already has a massive backlog of uncollected medication, and that had one customer so concerned, she took action.
Tolo Pereira is a mum and an early childhood teacher in Porirua. She doesn't think twice about picking up prescriptions for her family, but when she saw the backlog of uncollected prescriptions at Cannon's Creek Pharmacy, she had to act
“I thought, gosh if there's medication there for really young children and the parents couldn't afford to pick it up because they didn’t have the money – that hit me really hard,” she says.
Ms Pereira took to Facebook, asking residents to donate money for those who can't afford the $3 prescription fee.
The response was overwhelming, and she raised $400 in one week.
Pharmacy owner Kas Govind is amazed at the community’s generosity.
“I've been in the community for 12 years, that sort of generosity really touches our heart chord.”
Mr Govind says medicine is often uncollected during high-cost periods like Christmas.
“It’s a high-need community, it's not just one $3 item on a prescription, there's usually four or five so that's $12 or $15.”
And the price for each prescription goes up on Tuesday from $3 to $5.
Labour MP Chris Hipkins says the increase could see the Government paying more in the long run.
“If cost becomes a barrier they're less likely to go to the doctor, they're less likely to get the treatment they need and we'll end up paying a lot more as their medical conditions become a lot more serious.”
Mr Govind says the solution seems simple to him.
“Those that can least afford it, pay the least, those that can, pay a bit more.”
The Pharmacy Guild says the prescription co-payment is felt right across the country and that the Government should target socio-economic areas differently, charging more or less, so that cost isn't a barrier when people collect medicine.
But for now, one small community has shown a bit of generosity can go a long way
“So there is a hundred prescriptions paid for – for the community, by the community – it’s a wonderful story,” says Mr Govind.
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2/01/2013 9:19:54 p.m.
A doctors visit is always required to get a script in the first place,then add the cost of meds,it all adds up, an upfront cost is hard enoughto find for some now, so chemistscan expect more meds left on shelves.This govt continues to ignore the plight of alot of people who are notgetting sufficient income to supportthe basics,let alone when they getsick.
1/01/2013 10:50:31 a.m.
david holland wrote:
Our parliament is based on the westminster system. England has i think about 60 million people and 650 members of parliament. We have not quite 5 million people and 122 members of parliament. Do the maths, and ask if we are getting value for money?. Successive governments in this country have been as bad as each other, and have cost too much in operation to produce some appalling decisions, and guess who has to pick up the tab?. The pay disparity becoming evident in this country between people who produce nothing and the real workers has serious implications for the future. People should be paid what they are worth, and by what they produce, not for shuffling paper.
29/12/2012 9:34:12 a.m.
James White wrote:
Spot on Peter.
The govt is asking us to bear with the increase in food, in petrol, in medicine, in EVERYTHING. Yet they buy themselves a whole new fleet of limousines, rack up the parliamentary credit card on booze and travel for their partners... National govt.. get real! (I didn't vote for them!)
28/12/2012 10:33:32 p.m.
Peter McIntosh wrote:
This is just another example vof how far out of touch with the real world Key and his puppets are. They have screwed down people's incomes over the past four years but continue to load further expenses on those who can least afford it. First it was GST which they had promised not to increase and now it is petrol and prescriptions. Most people do not have the income to keep pouring into Key's ever increasing debt void. Meanwhile Key gives us the bill for him to take bodyguards on holiday to Hawaii several times a year. Get real!
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