Community pharmacies in Northern Ireland can provide significant support in getting the health and social care system back on its feet after Covid-19 surge plans have been downgraded, says the chief executive of Community Pharmacy NI, Gerard Greene (above).
“Prior to the Covid-19 outbreak, waiting times at the likes of GP surgeries were significant and the health service was under visible strain. During recent weeks the community pharmacy network stepped up massively and adapted almost overnight,” said Mr Greene.
“We know that with the right resourcing and financial backing that pharmacists can do so much more to alleviate bottlenecks. The Minister has stated that there is a clear opportunity to make a number of improvements and we are keen to work with the Department to ensure that any investment in community pharmacy is one that works to help transform the health service.”
His bid for investment in the sector comes as the Northern Ireland health minister, Robin Swann, has announced that he will be bringing forward plans for the re-establishment of the health service after it adapted to prepare for the surge of Covid-19 patients to be admitted to hospital.
CPNI says that community pharmacists are already playing an enhanced role in transforming the health service and that now is an opportunity to invest further in the network as the crisis gradually lifts.