A critical shortage of drugs and medicines will follow the protest closure of 1,100 pharmacies across Ireland, their representative body has warned.
The crisis has been prompted by “strike” action over government plans to cut the fees it pays for dispensing drugs and preparing prescriptions for patients.
The Irish Pharmacy Union (IPU) claims that a proper contingency plan has not been put in place, which the Health Service Executive (HSE) is now trying to cover up.
The union says a list of 800 stores that will supposedly dispense drugs during the protest is inaccurate, and that it has been contacted by a string of pharmacists who insisted they should not be on it.
Says IPU president Liz Hoctor: “It is clear the list published is a smokescreen, and confirms the union’s view that the HSE has no workable contingency plan.
“If the HSE cannot get a list of pharmacies right how can they dispense medicines safely to people all over the country?”
Copyright Press Association 2009