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May 1st Pharmacies Crisis Averted

30 April, 2008

Sinn Féin Health Spokesperson Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin has welcomed the breakthrough in the dispute between the Irish Pharmaceutical Union and the Health Service Executive and the fact that medicines will now continue to be dispensed as before to people dependent on the Medical Card and Drugs Payment Schemes.

Speaking this evening Deputy Ó Caoláin said, "I want to welcome the news this evening of a breakthrough in the dispute between the IPU and the HSE.

"The decision to expand the terms of reference of the Dorgan Group opens up the possibility of a long term solution of the issues involved.

"The HSE have also agreed to give the IPU official recognition as a trade union representing their members which is crucial for the success of any negotiations now or in the future.

"It was absolutely crucial that this impasse was broken. The consequences of a refusal to dispense medicines on the part of pharmacies as of tomorrow, May 1st, would have been disastrous, particularly for the sick and elderly throughout the state, including
those in rural areas." ENDS

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