As of Friday morning there was still no settlement to the dispute between pharmacists and the HSE that, from this weekend on, threatens to cause chaos for thousands of people who receive regular medication through State-supported schemes.
There is also much confusion among the public as to who will, or will not, be open to dispense State schemes. The HSE published a new, amended list of participating pharmacies this (Friday) morning and a spokesperson told The Munster Express that, despite some suggestions to the contrary, the new list was accurate and those pharmacies would be available to medical card holders and those on other State schemes.
However, when this newspaper telephoned some of the names on the latest HSE list, we were told that they would definitely not be participating. For instance, Sam McCauley Pharmacy, Broad Street, is on the list as is Carroll’s Pharmacy on Ballybricken. Both outlets confirmed this morning that they would not be administering State schemes.
The HSE continues to insist that the public will be adequately facilitated in the event of the pharmacists’ boycott going ahead but, for their part, the protesting pharmacists say Minister Mary Harney and the HSE are playing a bluffing game with patients being used as fodder. They say that, no matter how hard staff try, the few outlets that will be open for participation will be totally overwhelmed by the sheer volume of prescriptions flooding over their counter.
See our print edition for the list of pharmacies that will be administering State schemes in Waterford.