Just a follow up to the list

It occurred to me that there is a relatively simple way to reconcile the HSE and the IPU lists. The editor of the Irish Times (unlikely due to PD connections) or the Indo could just assign a junior reporter, (they still have them don’t they?) to ring all the pharmacies on the HSE list. Given the number of chains one call would do a number of pharmacies. We know that Boots and Unicare are still in so a couple of hours on the phone and hey presto you have a story.

I won’t hold my breath!

So the list is out….

..and not to put simply it’s a load of


The chains have already confirmed that they are pulling out as well as a number in Dublin that I have personally spoken to. The HSE are liars. Not only that they are exposing pharmacists and staff in those pharmacies to risk. Patients coming in looking to have GMS & DPS scripts dispensed because the pharmacy is on the HSE list and the pharmacy that has pulled out. I can see a lot of irate patients and a definite risk of violence. I wonder will the HSE take responsibility for any harm that they will cause.

The Donegal list is a case in point. Only Boots will be still dispensing in Donegal and the HSE seem to think that 17 others will as well. They think that two pharmacies would still be dispensing in Carndonagh and they still see the need to put a contingency pharmacy in Carndonagh Hospital. They have great faith in their own list.

Expect a load of revised versions in the next few hours.

Cometh the hour…..

Five days to go. Loads of black ops from HSE land. Nasty phone calls trying to pick off some of the perceived weaker ones. It won’t work. They have massively underestimated the resolve of pharmacists. Practically everything they do strengthens our backbone.

It’s not going to be easy or nice. It wrenches me in the gut to have to do this but as was said last Wednesday

“I’d rather live on my feet than die on my knees”

Sure there will be some pharmacies apart from Boots and Unicare who will continiue to dispense HSE schemes but they will be in a minority and they will not be enough to replace the 1,150.

In the meantime there is still no sign of the HSE’s list of 867 pharmacies. Despite repeated promises there is sign of publication. Some of the papers won’t publish any list without first contacting the pharmacies on the list because of the implications of getting it wrong. I wonder why they don’t trust the HSE.

And now it is official from Paddy Burke of the HSE. They want to close down about 500 pharmacies. He said over the weekend that Ireland had good pharmacy service in 2002 when we only had 1,100 pharmacies. It’s nice to know that with one part of Govt. struggling to help keep small business’s going we have the HSE actively seeking to close 500 down. It may not have occurred to Govt that any savings made by the HSE will quickly be eaten up by Welfare payments and that the defaulting loans will end up on NAMA’s books..

Yesterdays Meeting

It was good rousing stuff, well managed and a good show of strength.
A lot of what went on wasn’t reported by the media. In one it is not surprising considering the length of the meeting. Some of the reporting was a bit(!) biased and lazy. Fergal Bowers on the 6:01 new said that 1,150 pharmacies were pulling out and that according to the HSE 867 were still in. That makes 2,017 pharmacies out of less than 1,600 in the country. A little bit of checking next time please. But the main message that came out was aside from the cuts, this dispute would not be happening if Mary Harney would sit down and talk. Her lack of any response to any of the IPU’s suggestions was irrational. That combined with other things that I have heard makes me wonder about her mental stability.

The HSE’s press office seems to play fast and loose with figures. I wonder if they will publish the list of 867 pharmacies or will this as guarded as the third secret of Fatima.

I’ve seen photographs of the contingency pharmacy in Dungloe. All I can say that it will be a miracle if somebody isn’t killed as a result of any dispensing that might go on there. It’s time for the media to put the HSE’s contingency plan under a spot light and ask a few hard questions.

A few quotes from the meeting

I rather die on my feet than live on my knees

From Joanne Hynes paraphrasing John Healy

I am shouting STOP!

And lastly Gandhi

First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you and then you win.

How can you tell if a politician is lying?

Their lips are moving.

I don’t normally post from home but I have just been listening to SWMBO Harney lying her way through an interview on RTE. The interviewer either hadn’t done her background properly or was dumb. She just went along with everything the Minister said and challenged nothing. This has only strengthened my resolve.
When said that pharmacies might go to the wall her attitude was “Tough, that’s not my problem”
When asked about a contingency plan she answered by saying that she was sure that Prof Dumm Dumm had one. Could it be that she is setting him up as a fall guy?

I am going back to spending some time with my family, at least the fat cow can’t take that from me.

The truth behind the spin

It’s from anothert forum but I thought that I might re-post here as it deals with a lot of the bullshit that Harney & Co have been putting out.

Originally Posted by Aspro View Post
Harney statement that fees have doubled over a period of years has stuck in the public mind. Firstly is this true? Secondly what are the factors, over 70’s,
medical inflation ? We need to nail this if possible.

Have fees doubled?
In a sense – yes. The total amount paid by the HSE has roughly doubled in the last six years. The individual dispensing fees haven’t doubled although this is what the Minister would like the public to believe.
Secondly, the entire health budget has doubled. Have we seen commensurate increases in productivity across the HSE? I think not.

Why? What are the driving factors?
The volume and value of medicines dispensed have increased dramatically:
Number of eligible patients has increased in all schemes
Average number of items per Rx has increased
Average item cost has increased – newer, more expensive drugs replacing older, cheaper ones
Cardiac strategy – think of all the statins and ACE inhibitors that are now prescribed for patients simply at risk of CV disease but showing no symptoms e.g. diabetics

Was the money wasted?
Life expectancy has increased; many previously debilitating illnesses are now controlled by medication; hospitalisation is less frequent for many patient groups eg. cystic fibrosis, diabetes, . Patients are living longer, healthier lives. Is that a waste of money? You tell me, Minister.

Why hasn’t my income doubled?
There are 20-25% more pharmacies sharing the increased volume of dispensing fees between them
Your costs (property costs, staff costs, rates, waste charges etc) have increased faster than inflation
Newer medications are more expensive and frequently have shorter expiry dates. Wastage through out-of-dates in pharmacies is becoming more prevalent and far more expensive.