Fianna Fáil TD for Mayo and Party Deputy Leader, Dara Calleary, says the future of community pharmacists in Mayo is in jeopardy as government inaction on contracts continues.

Deputy Calleary said, “A new contract for community pharmacists is needed. The Minister for Health said so last May at an industry conference. Like many pronouncements by this government nothing has happened since.

“Community pharmacists play a vital role in every town and village in County Mayo and nationwide. The relationship, trust, and dependability a client and their pharmacist have are unmatched.

“Like many primary care services, the government is overseeing a dwindling of services. The HSE had instructed pharmacists that as of 1 January, there would be a range of cuts to their income, services and fees aside from the new contract. For many pharmacies, this range of cuts could take between €30,000 to €35,000 out of their income, which will lead to redundancies in pharmacies and to pharmacy closures in so many areas.

“We had fine words from the Minister. He keeps patting community pharmacists on the head and telling them they are doing a great job. He spoke about going to a higher terrain in his usual language but the reality is that if these cuts proceed, this higher terrain will be a marsh in which pharmacies, including community pharmacies, will sink.

“The government have questions to answer. Why have they done a U-turn on their commitments which the Minister for Health delivered last May. The Minister needs to address exactly what he intends to do next to support community pharmacists,” concluded Deputy Calleary.