Fianna Fáil TD for Cavan-Monaghan, Brendan Smith, says the HSE and Minister for Health must engage fully with community pharmacists to agree a new contract in the new year.
Deputy Smith, “Community pharmacists play a crucial role in towns and villages across Cavan-Monaghan. For many people they are their first port of call if they are feeling under the weather, and in many cases the advice that our pharmacists provide can prevent the need for people to have to go to their GP.
“Pharmacists are trusted and respected within their communities, but as with so many other health professionals, this government has left them high and dry, and fearful about the new HSE contract.
“Despite publicly declaring in May that a new contract for community pharmacists is needed, the Health Minister has failed to move the issue on.
“Pharmacists have been facing threats from the HSE that they would face a range of cuts to their income. My party has been advocating strongly for pharmacists and believe they shouldn’t be treated any differently to GPs, in relation to the reversal of the financial emergency measures in the public interests, FEMPI.
“I understand that the HSE proposals for cuts have now been withdrawn and talks are to start on a new pharmacists’ contract shortly. This is a welcome development.
“I will continue to monitor the situation and engage with the relevant parties to ensure that a fair contract is agreed, which benefits patients and pharmacists in Cavan-Monaghan alike,” concluded Deputy Smith.