Sinn Féin - On Your Side

Increased role for pharmacists essential for future of Irish healthcare - Ó Caoláin

28 January, 2015 - by Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD


An increased role for pharmacists is essential for the future of Irish healthcare. The western world needs radical change in the way it deals with health care provision. We currently see up to 1 in 7 attendances at GPs and 1 in 12 at Emergency Departments that could and should be dealt with by pharmacists.

Sinn Féin health spokesperson Deputy Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin has welcomed the recommendations arising from a seminar organised in Dublin today by the Irish Pharmacy Union (IPU) entitled “Pharmacists’ Role in Self-Care – a Prescription for Success’.

Deputy Ó Caoláin said: 

“An increased role for pharmacists is essential for the future of Irish healthcare. The western world needs radical change in the way it deals with health care provision. We currently see up to 1 in 7 attendances at GPs and 1 in 12 at Emergency Departments that could and should be dealt with by pharmacists. Within sight we also have a predicted massive expansion in health spend, as a percentage of GDP, in developed countries. Put simply, we cannot continue with the present model.

“We must change now to ensure that we are able to meet future demand. A further focusing on the role of the pharmacist should be viewed as an urgent and necessary step in this process of change. I call on the Minister for Health to engage with the IPU, General Practitioners and patients to ensure that we can move to an interdependent system that is to the benefit of patients and the health service overall.

“We need to examine what medications can be safely moved from prescription to non-prescription status, how best to further patient education along with ensuring that better communication systems are created so that GPs and pharmacists can collaborate on health care delivery”.

Connect with Sinn Féin