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Ó Snodaigh expresses shock at HSE & IPU Breakdown of Talks

11 October, 2007

Following this evenings breakdown of informal talks between the HSE and Irish Pharmacist Union (IPU) and confirmation that pharmacists are to withdraw dispensing methadone as from Monday Sinn Féin Dublin TD and Community Safety Spokesperson Aengus Ó Snodaigh has said the fall out from this action cannot be under estimated.


Deputy Ó Snodaigh said:


“The Health Service Executive cannot under estimate the fall out that will emerge from their decision to pull out of the Shipsey negotiations process.


“There are approximately 8,500 methadone patients throughout the country, with 5,000 of these in Dublin. It is just simply wrong that such a vulnerable group in society is to bear the full brunt of this dispute.


“It will be of deep disappointment to all communities affected that the HSE is following its taskmaster’s hard line approach to this crisis. The Progressive Democrats persistent refusal to engage in constructive dialogues has always served as a divisive tool and rarely in the interest of the Irish people.

“Pharmacies intend withdrawing the Drug Payment Scheme on November 1st and the Medical Card Scheme on December 1st. Withdrawing from the medical card scheme will cause untold hardship to hundreds of thousands of low income earners who will simply not be able to afford to their, or indeed their children’s medication.

“By not administering the Drug Payment Scheme patients will have to pay the full private cost of their medication and seek a refund from the HSE under the Prompt Payments Act. Again those with high medical bills and low incomes above the medical card threshold will be most adversely affected.


“It is unacceptable that Health Minister Harney has let the situation deteriorate to the current crisis. Leadership, compassion and constructive dialogue are now needed. Minister Harney should stop shirking from her responsibilities.” CRÍOCH

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