The dreaded words did not surprise me.
"You'll need an app on your phone to access prescriptions."
No, I won't. I don't have that sort of mobile phone. My phone can do two things. It can allow me to receive phone calls(and text messages). It lets me make phone calls and, presumably, send text messages. I have used the phone five times in the last four years. On three of those occasions I have told the Senior Cat that I will be later than I expected to be. On two occasions I spoken to Middle Cat to inform her that the Senior Cat was on his way to or at the hospital.
That is it.
Yes, I know that other people live with their phones at their sides all the time. I don't do that at the moment. We have a "land line" because the Senior Cat finds that less confusing. Middle Cat and the Senior Cat are the only two people with my mobile number. My "plan" costs me $40 a year - it used to be $20.
I know that I will eventually need to do something different but I still won't be getting fancy "apps" to tell me that prescriptions are due.
About two years ago the local chemist tried to tell me that our prescriptions should remain with them and that the Senior Cat's multiple pills should be put into one of those "pill packs" - to be collected by me at a designated time each week. There would of course be a charge for this service.
I told them "no thank you". I did it for a very good reason. Chemists lose things. They lost a prescription belonging to me. It meant I had to go to the clinic and have the doctor rewrite it. (She sighed and said "they do these things".) I also want to keep an eye on what the Senior Cat is supposed to be taking as does Middle Cat and Doctor-Nephew.
Now the government is setting up a paperless prescription scheme. Nobody seems to be totally sure as to how it will work but the assumption that everyone will have a mobile phone with a plan that allows them to access the internet is unrealistic. It simply won't work.
I am a reasonably intelligent sort of cat. I could do all this but I know a great many people who would not be able to do it. At the present time they can handle their own prescriptions. There is F... for instance. She doesn't have a mobile phone. Numbers confuse her but she knows when to take her medication. The chemist tells her, "That's the last one F... Go and see your doctor."
F.... will tell me. I help her make the appointment because pressing the buttons in the right sequence is beyond her. But, she can cope with her own medication by counting on her fingers and matching the amount left to that. Paperless scripts will confuse her and leave her anxious. She is far from the only one.
There are some good reasons to bring in a more stream lined service. It should do away with some doctor shopping and substance abuse. The problem is that it will create other problems, especially for people who are already dependent on others for some things and would prefer to be independent in others.