(SANDUSKY) -- As of February first, McKenzie Health System in Sandusky and it's medical staff will implement a new policy. Dr. Mark Hamet M.D. says the hospital's emergency room staff will not be dispensing narcotic and sedative medications for chronic pain. Prescriptions refills for these medications will also not be given. Hamet, who is director of emergency room services, says this policy is for the patient's protection. It is also hoped that this will eliminate a policy called "emergency room shopping." Hamet also commented that after a patient is evaluated and a narcotic is definitely needed, exceptions will be made. Steve Barnett, President and CEO of McKenzie Health System, says the hospital is quite possibly the first in Michigan to adopt a policy like this, but after a discussion at a recent meeting of the Thumb Rural Health Network, consisting of area hospitals and health departments, there is a definite need for patients who have chronic pain to have a primary physician to assure regular care and eliminate possible misuse of narcotics medications.
PICTURED: McKenzie Health System President and CEO Steve Barnett