November 8, 2023
Pharmacist prescription powers welcome but minor ailments scheme needed – David Cullinane TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Health, David Cullinane TD, has said Minister Stephen Donnelly’s proposals to allow pharmacists to extend prescriptions and administer more medicines without prescriptions are welcome, but they “fall far short of the much-needed change that is needed in the pharmacy sector”.

Teachta Cullinane was speaking ahead of a Health Committee session which, in part, would examine the role of pharmacists in issuing certain medicines which are currently ‘prescription-only’.

The Waterford TD said that it had been the Minister’s plan to launch a comprehensive Minor Ailments Scheme, such as the one Sinn Féin proposed more than five years ago, but that this has been held back due to the Government’s underfunding of the health service.

Teachta Cullinane said:

“The extension of powers for pharmacists to include extending certain prescriptions and issuing more medicines without a prescription is a welcome first step to expanding the role of pharmacies. However, this falls far short of the comprehensive changes which are needed in the pharmacy sector.

“The Minister for Health knows that a Minor Ailments Scheme, along with several key changes to the service model of community pharmacies, is needed to boost the role of pharmacists in the community.

“This is essential for relieving pressure from GPs, where clinically appropriate, to allow GPs to focus their efforts where their skills are needed most.

“There is huge potential in community pharmacy to provide quick access to essential services, but this has fallen by the wayside because the Minister failed to secure new resources to fund this reform.

“The Government has no vision for improving the efficiency of the health service because it is simply not a priority. This Government has thrown in the towel on health.

“We need a comprehensive plan for pharmacy, including a chief pharmaceutical officer with responsibility for pharmacy and pharmaceutical policy, a minor ailments scheme under a pharmacy first approach, as well as giving pharmacists a greater role in certain prescription medicines and modernising that system.

“This is in stark contrast to Sinn Féin’s alternative budget for health, which included €11 million to fund the development of a minor ailments scheme in community pharmacy in 2024.

“This is year another example of how Budget 2024 was a dire failure which is holding back progress.

“As a result of his failure to secure a proper budget, the Minister is limited to tinkering around the edges instead of delivering the reforms which Sinn Féin and others have identified as essential to fundamentally reforming the health system.”

Follow us online

Latest Tweets

Polls are now closed. 

Thanks to everyone who voted Sinn Féin today. 

Thanks to our Sinn Féin candidates, their families and their campaign teams, all of whom ran an incredible campaign for change.

Tosaíonn Athrú Anseo. Change starts here!

🚨Polls open until 10pm! Make sure you come out and vote Sinn Féin.

Vote for change.

Change starts here! 🗳️

#useyourvote #elections2024

If you want CHANGE, vote Sinn Féin today in the local and European elections in the South.

Our candidates will stand up for workers and families, and are committed to building a brighter, better future for all.

Load More