We live in an era when the quality of the medical products and services are frequently in question. Recent report also revealed that there are thousands pharmacies which run without the supervision of a registered pharmacist. Multinational drug companies are not only controlling the pharmaceutical market but also they have made all the attempts for a national drug policy futile. Due to these reasons, I am vigilant when purchasing my medications and "Rajya Osusala" has always been my first choice.
Recently, I happened to go to the Osusala branch located at Colombo 7. Being able to recollect my memory how this government pharmacy looked like some years ago I was pretty impressed not only by the look but also with the service provided.
The positive changes that I observed at Osusala and ongoing issues related to medical products and services made me to share few important facts about "Rajya Osusala".
- Good things have happened in bad years. The State Pharmaceuticals Corporation (SPC) was established in 1971.
- It was the result of the “Bibile - Wickramasinghe Report” submitted in March 1971. They had been assigned to do so by the then Prime Minister, Hon Sirimavo Bandaranaike.
- Rajya Osuhala is the name given to retail outlet of The State Pharmaceuticals Corporation.
- They have 18 Rajya Osu Salas, 36 Franchise Osu Salas, 48 Distributors and 20 Authorized Retailers spread throughout the country.
- They maintain the highest standards in pharmacy and dispensing practice. Their focus is to attain highest standards of quality assured health care products and services.
- SPC is going by the ideals of its founding father Professor Senaka Bibile. It has worked hard to provide quality assured drugs at prices that are among the lowest in the world.
- Their Mission, according to their statement, is to provide quality assured health care items that are safe and effective, at an affordable price. Educating the public on the rational use of drugs is also a part in it.
- State Pharmaceutical Cooperation's Vision is to contribute to the country emerging as a healthier and vibrant nation.
Measure of Excellence at 'Rajya Osuhala' - Colombo 7
The main sales outlet of SPC is located at Lipton circle closer to Eye hospital and National Hospital of Sri lanka. Here is what I observe during my recent visit.
Well organized efficient service:
A system to ensure a highest quality and safe service:
- They have set up a separate counter to hand over the prescription. This minimizes the unnecessary waiting time.
- A new queue management system has been introduced. The customer is given a digitally generated token. The customer can sit on the nice chairs provided and relax until the number in her token is called for.
- A digital display board displays the running number and also the counter number to which the customer should go.
- Having confirmed the basic things with the customer, the person who receives the prescription sends it to the pharmacists.
- Pharmacist receives the prescription and this is the first place from where the drugs are chosen according to the prescription. (I hear they even keep a photocopy of the prescription for future references if there could be any.)
- Then the drugs come to the receipting counter. That is the second place where the drugs are checked. They check drugs against the prescription and also the quantities.
- Finally at the issuing point the drugs are checked for the third time. At every point the workers make sure that the given drugs are correct, the instructions of usage provided and the quantities are correct.
The system introduced to issue nothing but the exact drug prescribed by the doctor is absolutely commendable.
While doing this hard work, if the workers there, by any chance, forget to give you a smile, please give them one of yours. That is the best way of appreciating the good work.