The current situation is that the Health Service Executive has said that if some pharmacists withdraw from the medical card scheme from the first of March as planned ( our understanding is that next Wednesday the majority pharmacists who are in dispute with the HSE are to close for the day and may discontinue providing medication fee to people on medical cards and on the long term illness cards).
Each PWCF should talk to there local pharmacy to see if they are going to supply your medicine under the medical card or long term illness schemes, some local pharmacies may be in dispute but will continue to give out medication to there customers ( under protest to the HSE). So talk to your local pharmacy as to there plans.
If your pharmacy has told you that the supply of your medicine under the Medical Card or Drugs Payment Schemes will be threatened from 1st March and you are concerned, here is what you can do:
•Go to your pharmacist this week and ask them if they will be filling your prescription next week
•If they say no, then you should ask them to return your prescription(s) and a record of other medication you have had
•Call the HSE infoline on 1850 24 1850, open from 8am to 8pm Monday to Saturday
•We will give you details of pharmacies in your area that can fill your prescription, or we can make alternative arrangements so that you can get the medicines you need, when you need them.
Medical card and long term illness cardholders will be able to transfer their account to another participating pharmacy. The HSE has no idea as to the percentage of pharmacists who are going to close or withdraw from the service, which will mean that people who need medications will have (A) have to find a new pharmacist in there area who is still in the medical card scheme. (B) Find a new pharmacist outside there local area or (C) pay for there medication at there local pharmacist.
It’s important to note that if people pay for there medication the HSE will not reimburse or repay the person for the cost of tat medication as some pharmacists have incorrectly advised. The HSE is to publish newspaper advertisements outlining its contingency plans.
HSE spokesperson Pat O'Dowd said its information line would provide members of the public with a list of pharmacies that will continue to participate in the scheme.
The helpline, is 1850 241850