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Christmas madness

In the run-up to Christmas, Babir Malik finds himself swamped with confused patients scared of running out of medication, but says the biscuits and chocolates make up for it

We are closed for two days at Christmas - Monday 26 and Tuesday 27 of December. Two days when everybody seems to go crazy.

Worried patients, scared of running out of their medication send in early orders. This is mind boggling, as 50 per cent of people don't comply as they should and, therefore, must have some at home, but no. They seem to want more. They will only bring them back for destruction at some stage.

Different surgeries deal with Christmas prescriptions in different ways. Some patients get an eight-week prescription but still seem to turn up again next month. On the other hand, we have post-dated prescriptions, a complex phenomenon of our modern times that leaves masses of the general public confused and almost always guarantees patients to turn up before their due date. Patients do not understand legal requirements. If we keep them, we design colour coded, alphabetised, chronological state-of-the-art filing systems, for safety and for efficiency. If the patients keep them…they simply lose them.

Everybody gets stressed. Pharmacists, support staff and even the poor delivery driver. However, let's not forget the biscuits and chocolates from patients that keep us smiling during this generous but certainly stressful season. Here's hoping for some gluten free ones this year.

Merry Christmas and all the best for 2012

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