Mon, Jan 08, 2018 - Page 3 News List

Family pharmacist system could work nationwide: Ko

By Lee I-chia  /  Staff reporter

Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je, third left, attends a presentation in Taipei yesterday at which the city offered other localities help with introducing family pharmacists.

Photo: Chou Yan-yu, Taipei Times

The Taipei Department of Health said that all counties could implement a family pharmacist system similar to its own, which combined resources from the Taipei Pharmacists Association, community pharmacies and the Taipei City Hospital to enable pharmacists to visit seniors at nursing homes, disabled seniors living alone and people who are in need of home care services.

A total of 4,970 visits have been made through the program since its initiation in May 2016, and there are now about 5,600 pharmacists, more than 800 pharmacies and 36 hospitals in Taipei.

There are no elevators in about half of the residential buildings in Taipei, so while there are eight medical centers in the city, many older people might have difficulty leaving their homes to seek medical attention, Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) said.

In addition, people with chronic diseases might see several doctors and take several types of medication, so a family pharmacist helps them evaluate all the drugs to reduce duplicates and drug abuse, protecting patients while also reducing drug waste, he added.

Taipei has made many innovations and has promoted its successful experiences to other areas across the nation, Ko said, adding that he hopes the family pharmacist system could also benefit Penghu and other counties.

Shortly after the ceremony, Ko was asked by reporters to comment on the ongoing demonstration led by New Power Party (NPP) Executive Chairman Huang Kuo-chang (黃國昌) and legislators in front of the Presidential Office Building.

“Lawmakers make laws, so they should also keep to the law,” he said, adding that it is illegal to hold demonstrations next to the building.

“It is probably my practical personality from being a surgeon. In principle, I will be as tolerant as I can towards protesters,” Ko said in response to why he did not order to remove the demonstrators as soon as the protest began.

As the protesters have remained on the sidewalk and do not affect traffic, Ko said he has not yet ordered to remove them by force, but would “make decisions according to developments.”

The NPP has not approached him to discuss the issue, Ko said, adding that he thinks legislative issues should be dealt with at the Legislative Yuan.

When asked about his plan to visit Europe later this month, which was criticized by a city councilor on Friday last week as potentially costing too much money, Ko said that some parts of the nation’s diplomacy need to be conducted by cities, adding that he has been moderate among the six metropolitan mayors regarding overseas visits.

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