Health | To ask the Minister for Health the extent to which an adequate number of pharmacists remain available to meet requirements
To ask the Minister for Health the extent to which an adequate number of pharmacists remain available to meet requirements; the extent to which provision is being made for same; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
Pharmacists wishing to practise in Ireland must be registered with the Pharmaceutical Society of Ireland (PSI), the Pharmacy Regulator.
The number of registered pharmacists on the Register of Pharmacists held and maintained by the PSI has continued to grow. 6848 pharmacists are currently registered with the PSI, with 4400 of these registrants declaring their area of practice as community (see https://www.thepsi.ie/gns/Registration/public-registers/Statistics.aspx).
The PSI is also the registering authority for pharmacies in Ireland in order that they may open and operate, and the number of Registered Retail Pharmacy Businesses currently stands at 1980. The number of community pharmacies that have entered into a contact with the Health Service Executive to provide services under the General Medical Services (GMS) scheme and the community drug schemes, increased during 2021 and now stands at 1,914.
The PSI’s 2021-2023 Corporate Strategy contains an action for the PSI to ‘Take steps to identify and mitigate risks to the continued availability of the professional pharmacist workforce, particularly within the community pharmacy sector’.
This has materialised as the PSI’s ‘Emerging Risks to the Future Pharmacy Workforce’ project, which is a multi-annual project, due to run across 2022-23. In 2022, this project is set to assess emerging risks to the continued availability of a professional pharmacy workforce within community and hospital pharmacy in Ireland.
It will be on the basis of gathering and analysing up-to-date, robust and relevant data, that recommendations can be proposed to address Ireland’s needs for a pharmacist workforce in the future, as Ireland’s healthcare system evolves, and in the context of Sláintecare implementation.
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