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Saturday, December 2, 2023

Pharmacists' ultimatum-Either consultation on compensations, or they go to measures

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The decision of the Pharmaceutical Association to proceed or not will be determined by the attitude of the Minister of Health, Michalis Hatzipantelas and the Health Insurance Organizations (OHI), in relation to the compensations they are requesting to receive due to the rapid increase in the sale of pharmaceuticals. in taking reaction measures, after the wreck of the last meeting they had with the OAU, in the presence of the responsible minister.

The pharmacists urgently request a written assurance from the Organization that the 2022 loss will be included in the 2023 budget, while at the same time insisting on their position to renegotiate the agreement with the OAU, in relation to the way they are compensated. 

The black smoke that came out of Thursday's meeting left no room for the members of the Pharmaceutical Association, whose Board of Directors is expected to sit down during the weekend in a meeting to decide on the next steps, without excluding the taking warning reaction measures in order to put pressure on the Organization.

However, the OAU, for its part, has made it clear that there is no question of further consultation and with the possibility of a lockdown in the pharmacies visible, the pharmacists are pinning their hopes on a new intervention by Mr. Hatzipantela. As he clarified, speaking to REPORTER the vice-president of the Pharmaceutical Association, Plutarchos Georgiadis, at the weekend, ways of reaction will be decided, since if there is no change of attitude from the OAU, taking measures will now be a one-way street. “We expect a new intervention from the minister. We will make some decisions, but we will wait until there is fertile ground for discussions. I want to believe that they will think about it very seriously for the good of the patients. The decision on measures is not our responsibility, but the responsibility of the OAU”. 

At the same time, Mr. Georgiadis opens fire against the Organization, denouncing it for an intransigent attitude, indicating that they could foresee in advance the increase in the demand for medicines, after two years of the pandemic. As he said, “the OAU during the meeting we had was uncompromising. In 2022 there was no pandemic. Since September they could see that the thing was out, they could have ensured the situation through their software, yet they did nothing. They remained idle and did not engage. We are not beggars, but we are asking for our earnings and we are waiting to see if they will decide something different”.

The compensation of the pharmacists concerns four million preparations, which are estimated to cost around eight million euros, only for 2022. The Organization, as Georgiadis said, presents as an excuse to pharmacists that the budget is global and closed. “How is it  that a budget is closed, but at the same time they allow so many packages of medicine to be sold? This lets us understand that those who work in the System will give, not take. A pharmacist cannot sponsor the operation of the NHS”.

The vice-president of the Pharmaceutical Association also raised the issue of the OAU's unreliability due to the breach of their agreements. “We should produce quality in our patient service, but for that to happen, they should look at the operating costs of each pharmacy. At the end of the day we have to decide what we want. Do we want patients waiting in hospital queues to get their medicine? We immediately ask for our earnings and an immediate solution”, said Mr. Georgiadis at the end.

Source: www.reporter.com.cy

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