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Pharmacists withdraw from State schemes
[Posted: Fri 31/07/2009 www.irishhealth.com]
Hundreds of pharmacists have this weekend withdrawn from dispensing medicines under State drug schemes.
Patient groups have expressed concern about difficulties this may cause with the supply of medicines.
The Irish Patients Association and Age Action Ireland have called on all parties in the current pharmacy dispute to agree to an independent facilator to find an urgent solution to the current impasse in the best interests of all patients and communities.
The pharmacists' action is in protest against Health Minister Mary Harney's move to reduce substantially pharmacy fees under these schemes.
Conflicting statements have been issued on exactly how many pharmacists are no longer dispensing medicines under State schemes. People are being advised to check with their local pharmacy to see if they are still dispensing medicines under these schemes.
The HSE says if they say no, you should ask for any prescriptions they may be holding for you and your medication records and then go to a participating pharmacy for medicine supplies.
The Irish Pharmacy Union (IPU) has claimed around 400 to 500 of around 1,600 pharmacists in the country will not be taking part in the withdrawal and will continue to provide services under State schemes, whereas the HSE says the figure is around 900.
The IPU has said it now seems likely that many community pharmacists will no longer supply medicines under community drug schemes.
It claimed that patients are now facing into "an intolerable situation" as it becomes clear that the HSE contingency plans are totally inadequate and in many parts of the country there is no contingency plan at all in place.
The IPU said it believed that under the HSE contingency plan, pharmacy cover in areas such as Waterford, Wexford, Cavan, Donegal, Kerry, Connemara and Mayo will be totally insufficient to meet patient demand and that this could lead to dangerous situations.
It said it "deeply regretted" any worry or distress caused to patients who will be adversely affected by the current situation.
Liz Hoctor of the IPU said this was a very worrying time for patients and pharmacists alike and that she knew the decision by pharmacists to withdraw from these schemes was taken with the utmost reluctance.
The HSE's latest list of participating pharmacies is available on http://www.hse.ie
Further information can also be obtained from the HSE's information line at 1850 24 1850
|Thomond Posted: 02/08/2009 21:44|
The HSE helpline is completely discredited because it is working from a discredited list published in the newspapers. In Clare, west of Ennis town. on 1st August, NO pharmacy was dispensing state prescriptions. The HSE helpline is telling callers that there are five pharmacies in this area which are continuing to dispense.
|Mickey Posted: 03/08/2009 18:18|
Another major crisis for the less well off of our communities. And where are our politicians to step forward and demand rights for these people. On their holidays. Not even a text message to give support of sympathy to the plight of the people. Is it any suprise that our health system is in such a mess. Mary Harney should resign from her job and give it to someone who is in communications with the people.
|Krissy Posted: 11/08/2009 15:26|
I can not believe they are withdrawing from this scheme. How many seriously ill people around the country are going to be affected by this? At this point it seems likely that this is not going to end anytime soon. People involved should wake up and realise there is more at stake here than money, your playing with peoples health, and that can only lead to disaster.
|Trinity Posted: 13/08/2009 19:49|
I can tell you that the list the helpline worked off was based on pharmacists that had not cancelled their contracts therefore should still be dispensing. Many pharmacists had not given any notice to cancel so they legally should have been open to dispense. They also closed as we all know for one week and many of them were still within their contract and should have had their doors open.
I have no sympathy for them whatsover, they completly let down their customers, some customers of many years and many used their customers as pawns. Many customers have been lost to other pharmacies. The money they were being paid by the HSE was totally ridiculous and should never have been allowed to happen in the 1st place. One side is just as bad as the other. Sorry pharmacists but definatly No sympathy here!
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