Well I’ve done it.

I have been holding back from posting anything for the last week or so. It is not that there has been nothing happening but that it was in such a state of flux that anything I may have posted could be out of date by the time that it was posted.
Having considered the new terms for the GMS contract i have decided that it does not make any economic sense for me. So yesterday I posted off my resignation to Prof Dumm Dumm giving him the 30 days notice as required under FEMPI. So from 1st August I will not be part of SWMBO Harney’s evil empire.
Normally I am not one to follow the herd. But it seems that the herd agrees with me. As of lunch time today 350 of my colleagues have confirmed that they are also resigning their contracts. And the number is likely to pass 600 by tonight. It is not as if we all conspired to do this but if it starts raining everybody puts up their umbrella.

It’s a big step for me. I have spent the last 6 years building up the pharmacy and driving the business forward. But I am not prepared to sit here and let Harney bleed me dry. Is it that much to ask that the Dept. of Health actually sit down with pharmacists and discuss this. We have been available for talks for the last 3 years, we have put forward proposals for a new contract that would save just as much as these savage cuts but all that Harney and Drumm do is to pull on the lederhosen, jackboots and swastika armbands and goosestep over one of the few parts of our health service that was functioning properly. Even in Germany Celesio and Boots are not allowed to own pharmacies but here in Ireland Harney wants to hand it all to them on a plate. It is ironic that we have one section of government trying to save small Irish owned business and another doing their best to destroy them.

Edmund Burke wrote that for evil men to prosper all it takes is for good men to do nothing. Well the good men (and ladies) of pharmacy are making a stand. It still may be the end of community pharmacy in Ireland but at least we will go down fighting. I would rather be dammed for something I did than for doing nothing.

It’s the same old déjà vú all over again

I’ve been holding back on posting anything on the latest chapter in the current dispute with the HSE. This is partly because there has been no communication from the HSE. All we have to go on so far is their press release of last Thursday announcing the cuts. Link Here
The IPU have not been informed and there has been no word to individual contractors. Apart from the usual lying in the PR it also has the air of “make it up as you go along”. At this stage I cannot say for certain what I and other pharmacists are going to do as we still don’t know for certain what the HSE will be doing. From reports it would seem that the legislation for this will not be put before the Dáil until next February. Yet it seems that it is to be implemented from 1st July. I never studied law but as far as I’m aware you cannot have retrospective legislation.
One or two things about it bother me. My contract with the HSE states that I must give 3 months notice if I wish to terminate. However the HSE is proposing to radically alter the terms and conditions at 12 DAYS notice. That is if you count a post on a website as adequate notice. The HSE will not even discuss any of this with any pharmacist or the IPU. The last leader of the PDs seems to have taken out and polished her jack boots and swastika armband.
Jack Shanahan in his letter to the Irish Times summed it up very well. They won’t talk to those who know what they are doing, they ignore their own reports and even the steps that they have taken have failed to deliver. They seem intent on destroying one of the few parts of the health service that is working.

So for now there is little I can say. Maybe tomorrows post might bring something official.

To advertise or not?

It’s not often that I agree with our beloved PSI but their latest email gave me some mixed feelings.

Medicinal products are not ordinary market commodities; they are, with certain limited exceptions,
regulated products that may not be supplied without the benefit of the expert advice of a pharmacist in
respect of their safe, appropriate and responsible use. This position is supported by the various
regulatory requirements including those specified in the Regulation of Retail Pharmacy Businesses
Regulations, 2008 (S.I. No. 488 of 2008) where certain obligations are laid down in respect of the
circumstances in which the sale or supply of non-prescription medicinal products to the public by or
under the personal supervision of a pharmacist, is carried on in retail pharmacy businesses.

Pharmacists must discharge their professional obligations to patients seeking advice, guidance and
assistance in respect of their pharmaceutical care and treatment. Self-selection of medicinal products
without the provision of appropriate supervision, professional support, advice and information by the
pharmacist is not appropriate. Supervising and superintendent pharmacists are reminded of their
particular responsibilities to ensure that policies and procedures in place comply with these

In summary, therefore, the position is that neither the regulatory provisions, nor the professional codes
in place, permit or support the advertising or promotion of medicinal products to the public on the
basis of price or quantity discounts.

It makes my heart glad that they are taking the rampant free for all in advertising medicines, by the chains, Irish, British and German seriously. But it saddens me that they have to.

On a technical aside I wonder can the PSI do anything about advertising on websites based outside of Ireland. I might just be moving my host any day now. 🙂

The future is out there.

We haven’t got this bad yet but in the US it is now believed that 60% of personal bankruptcies are because of medical bills. It gives the free marketeers of Fine Gael something to aim for.

But all of the bankruptcy practitioners should not fret. If the blueshirts get into power the strongest will survive policies of James Reilly and Leo Varadakar will mean plenty of work. Not that they will need you themselves. I suspect that they will happily give permissions and contracts to their own personal health centres. Lets see how the PSI implements the Pharmacy Act and improper relationships when the Minister for Health personally owns a health centre.

I do not see any political difference between Fianna Fail and Fine Gael. Except that FF are probably more corrupt having being in power longer. FG haven’t been in power long enough to be that corrupt, yet.