Friday, November 14, 2008

Dangerous Budget Cuts

There's a pharmacy near the clinic where I work that has been a God send for our patients. Here are the criteria someone has to have to fill a prescription there: you have to be a patient at our clinic or another of two clinics it serves, have either no insurance at all or using medical coupons. Patients get their medications there at cost plus a small dispensing fee. So it's possible for someone to get their blood pressure medications and their diabetes medication for less than $10 a month. (Even this amount of money is difficult for some of our patients). They also have interpreters on staff. It's subsidized by the county and it's supposed to close at the end of the year because of budget cuts.

I happened to speak to a pharmacist there and she told me the county and city officials have said they don't feel there is a need anymore for this kind of pharmacy. I knew I had to do something. I called the city council office and asked what I could do to try and stop this pharmacy from being closed. I was told I could write a letter and directed me where to send my letter. She told me there will be a final budget hearing on November 24 so it's important they hear from me immediately.

I decided I had a mission. I sent an email to all the staff at these clinics regarding this and then sent my letter. Here is my letter with the name of the clinic and pharmacy left blank:

I work as a Registered Nurse at the X Clinic. I know the X Pharmacy is due to close very soon. This letter is in support of the X Pharmacy.

Our clinic serves the poorest of the poor in our city and this pharmacy has been an invaluable resource for our patients. Here's an example of why this pharmacy is so important:

I saw a patient the other day who stopped taking his diabetes medication and his blood pressure medication because he couldn't afford them. His blood pressure was 170/112 at the visit. He told me he had to make a decision to pay his rent and buy food for his family or buy his medications. He didn't know about the X Pharmacy where he could buy his medications at cost plus a handling fee. He told me he would even have a hard time affording it there but at least he would manage. This patient is just one of so many examples of patients whose lives would be put in danger if this pharmacy was closed.

We also have so many patients who need the interpreter service only they can offer.

I know your job is not easy; trying to figure out the budget for the next year. Please do not forget about the poor in this county. With such hard economic times I think there will be even more need for this pharmacy where our patients can buy their medications at a reduced cost.
Thank you for your consideration.

By the end of my workday today, a total of 6 staff from our clinic had sent a letter. I'll be working on getting even more letters sent. I don't know if these letters will change their probably already made up minds but I do believe it is our responsibility to do what we can to speak loudly for those whose voices are not strong.


Romius T. said...

good work and good luck you will most likely need it!

Molly The Dog said...

Hi there RT. Thanks for visiting. What a crazy healthcare system, huh? I'll keep you posted.

Premium T. said...

Wow. We need more people like you.

Molly The Dog said...

Thanks premium t. but I'm just doin' what I think I gotta do.