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Government inaction on primary care a 'death sentence' to General Practice and Community Pharmacies - Louise O'Reilly TD

28 February, 2019 - by Louise O'Reilly TD

Speaking this afternoon Sinn Féin Health spokesperson Louise O’Reilly TD has said the government’s inaction on funding and support for primary care is a "death sentence" to General Practice and Community Pharmacies.

Teachta O’Reilly:

“The pressure on primary care has increased significantly in recent years as our population has grown by almost half a million, and as our demographics have changed with more older people and more young children.

“In a sensible and responsible State the government would recalibrate the health service towards primary care and properly fund it and invest in our GPs and our community pharmacists, it provides cheaper care and closer to home, often with better outcomes for patients.

“Today we had a report from the Irish Pharmacy Union (IPU) stating that community pharmacies are under threat and we also had reports that the General Practice crisis is set to escalate even further.

“The IPU report warned that community pharmacies could be under threat due to what it says is the government's failure to deliver on its promise to expand their role.

“In addition the report also said increased paperwork is crippling working time is having a significant impact on pharmacists. This comes on foot of additional bureaucracy which the government are trying to heap on pharmacy workers through the changes they are trying to make to the implementation of the EG Falsified Medicines Directive.

“In addition to this there is the crisis facing General Practice as 150 posts are currently unfilled and 700 GPs are due to retire in next five years.

“General Practitioners are the cornerstone of our primary care services. Primary care is the front line of our health service and deals with the bulk of the health needs of the population.

“However, the government’s cavalier attitude towards GPs in their refusal to reverse cuts to primary care is crippling services.

“Their inaction in funding and supporting primary and community care is a death sentence to General Practice and Community Pharmacies.

“The government needs to work on the unwinding of the FEMPI acts for primary care, they need to look at increased funding for primary and community care, and they need to enhance the primary care roles for community pharmacists.

“If this is not done then General Practice and Community Pharmacists will collapse nationwide.

“If the government were serious about implementing Sláintecare they would be investing in primary care.”

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