Pre-reg places

Maybe I should be a little bit more politically correct and call these intern places.
There has been a call from the PSI (blessed be the name) looking for tutors for the 2013/4 intern year. Could it be that there is a shortage of places?

Is it that tutors just couldn’t be bothered with the extra work or is it that they cannot afford to take on any more staff? Maybe a bit of both.
There was a time when we could take on an extra member of staff with little enough thought. Those days are long gone. Every expense has to be looked at. It is OK if you are replacing a member of staff who has just left but an extra member of staff above requirements is now a luxury few of us can afford. There is also the matter of having a staff member for only one year. It lacks continuity. With a small number of staff you could be replacing a large percentage of your workforce on a regular basis. I have found this to be the case. I was a tutor up to recently and may I say with one exception I found it to be a rewarding and worthwhile experience. But after my last (bad) experience I decided that I needed a settled and regular staff. Much as I would love to have an intern and help to mould them into the excellent pharmacists that my previous interns have become I can no longer afford it. Both because of the HSE cutbacks and of the effects on my business of frequent staff changes.

For now I can see the intern year becoming a fifth year of unpaid study. They are not paid for the first 4 years in college and soon I reckon that they will not be paid for the 5th year. Unfortunately I think that this will lead to a situation where many tutors who can afford to pay will not just using the unpaid intern as free staff. I may be cynical but I could see some chains taking an attitude of “we won’t employ you as pharmacists unless you do you intern-ship with us, and we won’t pay you for your intern year.”

Whatever happens I wish all this years cohort the best for the future. You will be entering a brave new world of pharmacy.

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The budget

So they’ve tripled the GMS charge from 50c to €1.50 per item. This from a Minister for Health who tweeted before the election “50c prescription charge serves as a deterrent to people obtaining essential medication” – March 2011 #doctorwithintegrity
Can we now assume that he has triple the amount of integrity? He held off tripling the maximum charge per month, so instead of going from €10 to €30 it was only doubled to €19.50! Well not quite doubled but I reckon that 50c was taken off so that it would not hit the psychological €20 mark.
However I feel that this is good out of the box thinking by Reilly. People on welfare now will put off or will not bother to get essential medication. While initially this may cost the state more in hospitalisation costs they will die sooner and thus cost the HSE nothing more. This is a double hit for the government as when dead the state will no longer have to pay pensions. As I said great thinking by Reilly and the government.