23 October 2022
By Elaine Murphy
Moynihan calls for expansion of pharmacy services to help ease burden on GPs and hospitals
Fianna Fáil TD for Cork North West, Aindrias Moynihan, has called for the expansion of certain services that pharmacists can provide to ease pressure on GPs and A&Es and make medical services more accessible for people.
In a question to the Minister for Health in Dáil Eireann, Deputy Moynihan commented, “There is a tremendous opportunity now to expand pharmacist services across the country which would have a major beneficial impact on the pressure being experienced by GP services and hospital services.
“Pharmacies already provide wonderful community services and could be utilised to help alleviate pressures experienced by other frontline health services. They played a central role in the Covid-19 vaccination rollout and can help with the implementation of future healthcare reform in Ireland.”
In response, the Minister for Health stated that during the Covid-19 pandemic the HSE established a working group with relevant stakeholders, including the Irish Pharmaceutical Union and the Pharmaceutical Society of Ireland, to support the implementation of all Covid-19 support measures.
The Minister added that this group – now called the Community Pharmacy Planning Forum – had examined the operational and clinical challenges confronting community pharmacists during the Covid-19 emergency and played a key role in resolving them to the benefit of the people of Ireland.
The work of the Forum has now transitioned to discussing the strategic direction of the community pharmacy profession. This will prove invaluable in the context of future contractual reform.
Minister Donnelly commented, “Of course, any publicly funded pharmacy service expansion should address unmet public healthcare needs, improve access to existing public health services, and provide better value for money.”