Have you been to Lourdes or Knock lately?

Taoiseach says nobody should be asked if their child ‘still had Down syndrome?’

http://www.thejournal.ie/medical-cards-down-syndrome-2-1464348-May2014/

Yet this is exactly what the HSE are doing when it come to patients HCU and PKU.  They are insisting on this by not paying pharmacists for their very food.  “Patient has exceeded Quota for non-approved drugs.” is their exact wording.  And what are these drugs exactly?  Try low protein milk and other low protein foods.

The GMS/HSE want to have every new foodstuff  for each patient individually approved by the local HSE office before it will pay pharmacists for them.  And what are pharmacists to do?  Let the patients literally go hungry?

The government is taking advantage of many in the community who care and look after people with disabilities in their own homes.  These families and carers look after their own while the government looks after itself.

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Letter to Reilly about Pharmacy Regulator Fees

Here’s a copy of a letter I sent to Dr. Reilly in relation to the extortionate fees being charged by the regulator.  They currently are running a surplus of just short of €2 million per year.  That means they could charge each community pharmacy €1,250 per year instead of €2,250 per year and still be generating a surplus.  I intend to circulate this to every member of the council as well.  So that the next time that they decide to do nothing they cannot say that “nobody told us.”

I would urge you all to do likewise.

Dear Minister Reilly,

I am writing to ask you to reduce the annual registration fees payable to the Pharmacy Regulator, the Pharmaceutical Society of Ireland (PSI). As you can see from the table below the registration fees for premises and individuals are far higher in Ireland than those payable in both the UK and Northern Ireland. I feel that the fees payable to the PSI should be reduced to rates similar to those paid by pharmacists in other EU countries.

Fees

Premises Ireland €2250 UK(1) £221 (€265) Northern Ireland(2) £155 (€185.89)

Pharmacist Ireland €400 UK(1) £240 (€287.82) Northern Ireland(2) £372 (€446.12)

(Exchange rate – 21/11/13)

On June 26 2013, the Health and Social Professionals Council (CORU) reduced the annual registration fee by 3€195 and set it at €100 for the next 3 years and agreed to refund any members who had paid the annual fee of €295. I would appreciate if you could instruct the PSI to implement a similar reduction for both the individual pharmacists and pharmacy premises as soon as possible.

I would also appreciate if you could instruct the PSI to implement a system allowing for payment in instalments to ease the cash flow burden imposed on pharmacists due to the implementation of a once-off annual payment system.

In light of the current economic climate, the fact that the PSI reported an annual excess of €1,944,324 (4) for the year ending 31/12/12 and the recent reductions in fees paid to pharmacists, I would ask that you give serious consideration to my application and ask the Pharmacy regulator to implement an appropriate deduction in fees payable as soon as possible.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Yours Sincerely,

David Jordan

(1)Ref – General Pharmaceutical Council

http://www.pharmacyregulation.org/registration/registration-pharmacy-premises/f

ees (cited 21/11/13)

(2)Ref – PSNI

http://www.psni.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/Fees-are-applicable-for-2013

-2013141.pdf (cited 21/11/13)

(3)Ref – CORU

http://www.coru.ie/en/news/details/update_on_corus_registration_renewal_fees

(cited 21/11/13)

(4)Ref – PSI http://www.thepsi.ie/tns/publications/core-publications.aspx (21/11/13)

 

€2.50 per item and GP visit cards for under 5’s

Minister Reilly thought that €0.50 per item was a bad idea and wanted to abolish it just as soon as he got into government.  Instead he put it up to €1.50.

€1.50 cost medical card holders €105M, €2.50 will cost €175M, an extra €75 M.

How much will the under 5’s medical card cost,  estimated to be €40M to €1B.

GP visit cards for under 5’s are being paid for by medical card holders.

Fine Gael don’t care!

Labour do you care?

Fianna Fáil will huff and puff but do nothing.

Shinners are you listening!  Methinks it’s time to dig out the decommissioned weapons.

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.

Well that was quick!

A little less than 3 weeks ago I wished James Reilly well in his new post as Minister for Health. A friend said to me that he was just Mary Harney with a beard. I now have two pictures in my mind. The first is Mary Harney with a beard and the other is James Reilly in a frock. I’m not sure which is the most disturbing. It was my wish at that time that he did not give me as much material for my blog and articles as his predecessor. Well I need not worry. That creative well will not dry up.

The latest round of FEMPI cuts announced yesterday is the biggest sign yet that nothing has changed. To add insult to injury the press release was filled with the same type of misinformation as the previous regime. I wonder how long we will have to wait to see the same level of cuts in payments to GPs, not that I would wish it on them. Suffice to say, I won’t be holding my breath.

I know that the country is screwed financially and otherwise but what’s wrong with sitting down with representative bodies in a meaningful way and looking for agreed ways of making savings. I guess that is just too simple.

Just a quick follow up

Just a quick follow up to my previous post in relation to party policies. FG and Dr Reilly issued a rebuttal via the IPU. They deny some claims that I never even made, but that’s an aside.

The Fine Gael deputy Leader and spokesman on Health and Children Dr James Reilly, in response to claims made on a website about Fine Gael policy on primary care and pharmacist involvement in same requested that the IPU bring his response to the attention of pharmacists.

“This is utter fantasy. Firstly, Fine Gael has never said that only professionals involved in Primary Care Centres will be contracted to provide services on behalf of the State. Fine Gael has never stated that we would build 850 – 875 Primary Care Centres. Finally, Fine Gael has never said how many pharmacists would be in a Primary Care Centre. This is utter fiction and the motivation behind these claims must be questioned. For the record, there has never been any assertion by Fine Gael that State contracts are only issued to pharmacists involved in Primary Care Centres or that the right of pharmacists to act independently be interfered with. These claims are absolutely false.” Fine Gael, Campaign 2011.

I’m happy to post it here. All they had to do was contact me directly. So now the bould Dr Reilly is the new Mary Harney and I guess we’ll get to see his policies fairly quickly. I honestly wish him well for all our sakes. I hope that he doesn’t give me as much material to write about as his predecessor. Or will “Angola” claim another victim?