FG Calls For Prescription System To Be Re-Examined

Fine Gael TD for Wicklow, Simon Harris, has today called for the system of issuing prescriptions for medical card holders to be re-examined immediately.

Speaking in the Dáil yesterday, Deputy Harris highlighted the inefficiencies of the current system whereby GPs have to re-issue all prescriptions from hospital consultants and mental health services for medical card holders, which is in stark contrast to the inconsistencies between the private medical system and the General Medical Service (GMS) scheme.

Mr HArris said: "This problem is most urgent in the case of mental health prescriptions. These prescriptions are obviously prescribed for good reason, and must be taken consistently over a prolonged period. Depending on the circumstances, prescriptions for these long term medications are issued on a weekly basis, requiring the patient to visit the GP for a GMS order every time a prescription is required.

"Some modern health medications for treating conditions such as autism can cost up to €300 per month. If parents are not in a position to see their GP, as I understand was a concern for some families over the Christmas period, they may not be able to afford the cost of the prescription. This has real consequences for the children concerned, and pharmacists have little or no discretion in issuing such prescriptions without a separate GMS order.

"It makes no sense that we have a system in place whereby private patients are treated differently to public patients. This anomaly also highlights the need for greater communication between specialists within our health service and doctors in our communities. In an age of technology, patient convenience and ease of access to vital medication should be improved."


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