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Pharmacists And HSE Row Must End

Fine Gael Deputy Noel Coonan TD said the ‘stand off’ between pharmacists and the Health Service Executive (HSE) is ‘no way to treat the public’ and must be resolved by discussion immediately, as the row between the two groups turns ugly.
As the demand for medicine increased nationwide after the bank holiday weekend, Deputy Coonan believes it’s time for Taoiseach Brian Cowen to ‘provide leadership’ and appoint a mediator in this dispute because “at the end of the day all disputes must be resolved and the only way to resolution is through consultation.”
Deputy Noel Coonan stated:

HSE

“The HSE has said that clients whose usual pharmacy will no longer be participating in the State Drug Scheme can take their prescription to any participating pharmacy where they will be able to get their medicines. However, there is widespread confusion throughout North Tipperary about whether pharmacies listed as continuing to dispense medicines are dispensing to everyone who comes through the doors, including new clients.

We need an urgent solution to ensure ongoing provision of medicines to the people of North Tipperary. Patient safety is paramount and the Taoiseach must immediately step in to take command of the situation. We have seen little leadership from the Taoiseach on this chaotic issue. Minister Mary Harney must also intervene as customers become more deeply concerned that they will not have access to necessary medication.

Fine Gael fully supports the principle for value for money for taxpayers and consumers but is very concerned that the situation is spiralling out of control. There are reports that staff at HSE-run temporary dispensaries have been intimidated with gardai now attending some clinics. Patients  lives should not be endangered due to this continued stand off. Many of the medicines we’re talking about are life saving and crucial. The Government must wake up and ensure a settlement is reached as soon as possible ”.

Deputy Coonan welcomed the news that over 100 pharmacies nationally have recently withdrawn their termination notices and will continue to fill prescriptions under the State Drug Scheme.
The HSE website today Tuesday outlined 26 pharmacies in North Tipperary that continue to dispense medicines to patients and clients under the Medical Card and other State Drugs Schemes. This list includes pharmacies from Thurles, Templemore, Nenagh and Roscrea.

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