Patient commitment to day surgery is reflected in the national statistics, with around 1.34 million elective day procedures occurring within Australian private facilities annually.

The anxiety about the procedure that some patients may feel when admitted to hospital (that might define them as unwell) is decreased within day facilities. This ease contributes to the patient’s eagerness to continue day to day activity promptly, such as trips to the local shops. Combined with the residual anaesthetic, patients may be overconfident in their ability to independently source the required medicines following discharge.

Desire to “just get home”, late discharge, finding a pharmacy for patients who travelled, lack of money for those patients who followed instruction to “bring no valuables” to the procedure, and residual sedation may create barriers to sourcing prescribed medicines as planned. The Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists advise that an anaesthetic may continue to affect the patient and inhibit driving ability for up to 24 hours, and occasionally longer.

Their Guidelines on Acute Pain Management further states that “suitable analgesia should be provided for at least the first day after discharge with clear written instructions on how and when it should be used.” As well as analgesia for both mild and stronger pain, day surgery patients may need a prophylactic antibiotic, and possibly a medicine targeted to the particular condition being treated.

HPS Pharmacies believe there is a duty of care to supply patients with all prescribed medicines upon discharge and is committed to working in partnership with clients to ensure this is achieved for all patients.


  1. AIHW. Australian hospital statistics 2012-13. Health services series no. 54. Cat. no. HSE 145. Canberra: AIHW; 2014.
  2. Faculty of Pain Medicine. Guidelines on Acute Pain Management. PS41. Melbourne: Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists; 2013.
  3. Faculty of Pain Medicine. Recommendations for the Perioperative Care of Patients Selected for Day Care Surgery. PS15. Melbourne: Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists; 2010.