Tuesday, 7 July 2009
Jerry Buttimer (Fine Gael)
I accept it is late, but the Minister of State was doing well until he went off the script. Pharmacists have indicated they are willing to accept a cut in their fees. I appreciate that the Minister of State is not attached to the Department of Health and Children but I ask him to bring to the Minister's attention that talks and negotiations must be held. There is no contingency plan if the pharmacists opt out. The reply is woolly. It does not explain what will happen. I call on the Minister to meet with the IPU to work out the issue.
The Minister made a comment about the global picture. This is about people. The Minister is discarding the Fianna Fáil slogan from 1987 about cutbacks hurting the old, the poor, the vulnerable and the elderly. Is that what the Minister of State is telling me this morning that he wants to do? I hope it is not, but unless we have action and a meeting of minds we will have chaos. It is not a case of spreading fear. The reality is that fear already exists among patients and people who need pharmacists and there is fear about job losses.