A minor illness scheme

Here’s a nice piece from The Pharmacist, a UK journal for pharmacists.  It talks about the benefits of a minor illness scheme in the UK.  There has already been a trial here in four towns but little more seems to have come of it.  There is huge potential for improved services for patients and savings but I doubt that the HSE will be able to see beyond the end of next month’s budget.

PSI Practice Reviews

So this is the latest whizz bang crock of shit that the PSI has come up with.

“Selected” pharmacists have to undergo a review of their practice in the RCSI over a weekend soon.  Now these are not pharmacists who have had any issues raised over their competence.  Just everyday Joe Soaps who have declared on their annual return that they are in a patient facing role.  And what do they get in return?  Nothing! Not even expenses.  We have a quango regulator with fees that are more than 10 times the equivalent anywhere in Europe, sitting on a reserve of more than €10 million and they can’t even pay the expenses for a self employed pharmacist to travel to Dublin.

This assumes that they can get to Dublin and back in one day.  Bad luck if you live and practice (and provide a necessary service) in some of our beloved islands more extreme regions.  These poor sods can throw in an overnight stay as well.  And what happens your pharmacy while you have this jolly to Dublin?  Closed?  No, you’ll have the PSI down your neck for that.  No, it’s a days locum presuming that you can get locums in your part of the world.  More expense.

Why just Dublin?  Why can’t they have this interrogation in any other part of the country?  Woe betide that these semi-civil servants may have to leave their plush surroundings and get their feet dirty.

There is no other profession, certainly in Ireland at least that has to put up with this crap.  Remember as I said above this is not for pharmacists who have had any complaints or concerns raised about their abilities just Joe and Josephine Soaps taken at random from the register.

What will they think of next?  Sitting in on patient consultations, charging us for inspections, publishing inspection reports in the media, publishing review reports in the media?  I ‘ve no doubt that some of the geniuses in there have already considered these.  This is regulation gone mad.

What if you decided not to attend or cooperate?  Well that’s just what a GP did recently.  http://mobile.medicalindependent.ie/page.aspx?contentid=100086 The Fitness To practice committee made no adverse findings against him so it seems that powers are limited in this.  The worst that seems can happen is just bullying by the PSI.  “We’ll put you through the ringer and make you sweat even though there is little we can do in reality.”  Classic bully boy tactics.  CORU who regulate the other professions have put their CPD of registrants on hold bacause of legal concerns.

This is regulation run mad.  The PSI has 10 times the number of staff of it’s equivalent in Northern Ireland and 10 times the fees.  They have to dream up shite like this to justify their existence. Things like the Pharmacy Assessment folders are another example of them trying to find ways to spend money.

All of this is overseen by a Fine Gael Minister for Health.  Remember FG are supposed to be the party of business.  Here they sit content to watch mainly small businesses being pommelled to the ground by a regulator running out of control.  Normally here I would finish by saying “Shame on you” but I’ve no doubt that politicians and civil servants have long since lost the notions of shame.  Don’t get me started on what has the IPU done for pharmacists is this situation.