Thursday, August 06, 2009

PU claims 'widespread' problems

From the Irish Times:
Pharmacists have reported “widespread” problems for patients today as they sought to have prescriptions filled under a HSE contingency plan to deal with the withdrawal of hundreds of pharmacists from State schemes.

The Irish Pharmacy Union (IPU) said there were “major problems” today in Mayo, Donegal, Carlow, Waterford, north Dublin, Wexford, Kerry, Offaly, Clare and Galway.

In response, the HSE said its temporary dispensing facilities were “busy but manageable” over the course of the day.

Hundreds of pharmacists have withdrawn from operating the State drug schemes, including the medical card and long-term illness schemes, in protest at the Government's decision to cut fees by €133 million over a full year. Up to a dozen temporary dispensing centres have been established by the HSE to help fill the shortfall in supply caused by the pharmacists’ action.

But the IPU claimed today the contingency measures are inadequate, that many patients are facing delays of up to eight hours to have prescriptions filled and that the HSE pharmacies do not have some medications in stock. ...more

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