Provision and Usage of Medical Services by Community Pharmacy: A Comparative Study of New York, Macao and Zhuhai (China)
Community pharmacies around the world are redefining their roles by experimenting to provide medical services directly to consumers. The aim of this study was to investigate the medical services provided by community pharmacies and consumers’ usage of these medical services. This study was carried out through semi-structured interviews with both community pharmacists and their consumers in New York, Macao and Zhuhai. Community pharmacists reported information about provision of medical services, and consumers provided information about their usage of medical services at community pharmacies accordingly. Through analysis of interview materials it showed that community pharmacies mainly provided free medical examination, reference books and booklet of drug information. Some community pharmacies provided health care lecture and founded own website for medicine information. But touch-screen computer querying system and telephone health care service had not been provided. Additionally the consumers’ usage of medical services at community pharmacy is obviously lower than provision by community pharmacy. The provision level of medical services by community pharmacy was relatively low and the types of medical services were relatively narrow. There was an obvious gap between provision of medical services by community pharmacies and usage of such services by consumers. The position of community pharmacy in national health system and capability of community pharmacy have impact on the medical services of community pharmacies.
Key words: Community pharmacy; Medical services; Comparative study; New York; Macao; Zhuhai (China)
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