Questions about hospital admission

Do I need to organise anything before I come to hospital?

Before your hospital visit, it is important to ask your doctor or pharmacist to give you an updated list with all of your medications, including those from health food shops, supermarkets and over-the-counter medications, as they may cause problems with medications prescribed in hospital.

Please ensure your list includes any medication allergies, such as those you have had a reaction and what that reaction was.

Prior to hospital admission, surgical patients may need to stop taking some medications on the advice of their doctor. Please only follow the guidance of your doctor – do not stop taking any prescribed medication without doctor consultation.

What should I bring with me to hospital?

Please bring the following information when visiting the hospital for treatment:

  • Medicare card
  • Concession, pension or DVA card if applicable
  • Safety Net entitlement card if applicable
  • A list of current prescriptions from your local pharmacy if applicable
  • All of your current medications, making sure they’re left in their original packaging
  • Current prescriptions so we can fill any repeats needed during your stay if required

Upon your admission, please inform our pharmacists if you are close to your Safety Net subsidy limit and bring your list of current prescriptions. If you reach the Safety Net subsidy while receiving treatment, we will issue your entitlement card and ensure your remaining medication is charged at the subsidised rate.

If you would like to share your Safety Net total with your local pharmacy, please ask us for a list of your prescriptions when you’re preparing to leave the hospital. You will need to settle your pharmacy account before receiving this list, as it can be used to make a Medicare claim against your Safety Net.

What happens to my medications while I’m in hospital?

Upon admission to hospital, you will be asked about the medications you use and how often you use them. You will need to bring these medications with you in their original packaging and give them to your nursing staff. This will support nursing staff in providing the correct medication and dosage that is within the expiry date and ensure they are stored safely and securely.

During your time in hospital, please do not take any medication without consulting your doctor or nurse, including pain relief or sleeping medication, to reduce the risk of medication interactions and adverse reactions.

If you are undergoing surgery, your doctor may prescribe new medications(e.g. pain relief). Your doctor or Slade pharmacist can talk you or your carer through any medication changes.

Will I be out-of-pocket for my medications?

Private health insurance, DVA or workers’ compensation patients

Privately insured, DVA or workers’ compensation patients may receive some out-of-pocket expenses at the end of their hospital stay. This is dependent on the level of cover you have and the agreement your hospital has with your health fund.

Your discharge medication may not be subsidised. This means you will be asked to pay for these medications before you are discharged from the hospital.

Uninsured patients

Patients who do not have private health insurance will need to pay for all out-of-pocket expenses before being discharged.

How much will my medications cost?

The Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) is a government scheme which offers a subsidy for a number of medications. For valid Medicare Card holders, the subsidy for PBS eligible medication will be provided during your time in hospital. Any medication given which is not covered by PBS, or any medication given to non-Medicare Card holders, will be charged at the full cost. Our pharmacy staff can provide you with the cost of your medication at any time during your stay.

What happens when I’m ready to go home?

When you are discharged from hospital, any medications that you brought with you to hospital will be returned alongside any new or additional prescribed medications and medication information leaflets. If any medications have been stopped, you can take these home or we will safely dispose of them for you. Please let your nursing staff know if you would like to speak to a pharmacist about your medication.

Before you leave, a Slade pharmacist may provide you with further information about taking your medications at home. They may discuss:

  • The medications you’re now taking and the dosages of each
  • The medications you’ve stopped taking
  • Any medications that you only need to take for a few days
  • Any side-effects you may experience
  • If your medications will interfere with any other medication
  • If your medications restrict driving, food or alcohol intake

If you have any questions once you return home, please discuss these with your local pharmacist or call Slade Pharmacy for assistance.

If you don’t need to bring additional doses of specific medication home with you, please inform your nurse who will return them to the hospital pharmacy. Once medication have left the hospital, Slade Pharmacy are unable to accept their return. This ensures all medication dispensed meet the highest safety standards.

Should I update my doctor and local pharmacist?

Please discuss any changes to your medication with your doctor and local pharmacist following your discharge from hospital.


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