Tuesday, 19 November 2019

Ceisteanna (353, 382)

Brendan Griffin

Ceist:

353. Deputy Brendan Griffin asked the Minister for Health his views on a matter (details supplied) in relation to further cuts to pharmacists; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [47244/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Brendan Griffin

Ceist:

382. Deputy Brendan Griffin asked the Minister for Health his views on a matter raised by a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [47323/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 353 and 382 together.

As the Minster for Health I recognise the significant role community pharmacists play in the delivery of patient care and the potential for this role to be developed further in the context of health service reform and modernisation.

The regulations governing the current pharmacy fee structure were made under section 9 of the FEMPI Act 2009 and are set to expire at the end of 2019. Under the Public Service Pay and Pensions Act 2017, these regulations must be replaced on 1 January 2020 to maintain a statutory basis for contractor payments and to prescribe the fees payable from that date. The fees to be set are determined by the Minister for Health, with the consent of the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform.

In keeping with my obligations under Section 43 of the 2017 Act, Department of Health officials have begun a process of consultation with the IPU, as the representative body, prior to the introduction of new fee regulations. My officials have met with an IPU delegation on two occasions and a detailed submission was received from the IPU on 8 November.

That submission is currently being considered by my Department in the context of the statutory fee-setting process as referred to.