O’Neill calls for community pharmacy support
Sinn Féin Deputy Leader Michelle O'Neill MLA is urging the Department of Health to ‘stop dragging its heels’ over funding support for community pharmacies here.
Commenting after meeting with Community Pharmacy NI, the former Health Minister said the sector is facing serious pressures.
Michelle O’Neill said:
"It's clear that Community pharmacy is on its knees with many outlets currently struggling to continue to provide communities with their excellent services.
"Community pharmacy is the first point of contact for many people to get advice on health and the safe and effective use of their medicines.
"They provide accessible and flexible services in communities that keep people well for longer.
"As Minister for Health I recognised the value of community pharmacy and its significant potential in contributing to the transformation agenda.
"I approved a Memorandum of Understanding amongst the Department of Health, the Board and CPNI to development a framework to fully realise the potential of community pharmacy services.
"Since then an Independent Cost of Services Investigation (COSI) into Community Pharmacy has been completed and has identified significant underfunding in the community pharmacy contract.
"The Department of Health needs to stop dragging its heels and they, along with the Board need to engage meaningfully with CPNI to find agreement on the community pharmacy contract, in the context of the COSI report.
"I will be writing to the Permanent Secretary of the Health Department to express the urgent need to resolve the problems facing community pharmacy.”