I acknowledge the contribution made by pharmacists and other health professionals who provide services under contract on behalf of the HSE, through reductions in fees for their services, in addressing the unprecedented economic crisis which the State faced over recent years.
The Public Service Pay and Pensions Act 2017 has put the setting and varying of payments for contractors on a non-emergency statutory basis, which will enable the determination of payments to contractors based on a range of considerations, including affordability and value for money.
In this context, I intend to consult with contractor representative bodies on putting in place a new multi-annual approach to fees, in return for service improvement and contractual reform and in line with Government priorities for the health service. This approach is also intended to deliver a phased exit pathway from FEMPI for contractors and this will form part of the proposed consultation.
My Department has commenced work to determine the preferred approach to engagement with contractor representative bodies in this matter.