Fabian Demicoli

Strong reaction by pharmacy representatives on Reggie Fava’s views on the POYC scheme

GRTU,
Malta Chamber of Small and Medium Enterprises would like to refer recent
statements in the media made by Mr Reggie Fava, a former President of the
Chamber of Commerce, regarding the Pharmacy Of Your
Choice scheme. Mr Fava reprimanded government for not consulting with
stakeholders, for introducing the scheme in a hurry, and for offering a pathetic
remuneration to pharmacists who will run the
scheme

Reggie
Fava is completely wrong in stating that the Government did not consult with the
stakeholders. On the question of a pharmacy of your choice service to patients
in the community, the only, and obvious stakeholders
are the two recognised social partners, GRTU in representation of pharmacy
owners and the Chamber of Pharmacists in representation of managing pharmacists
in the community. Many meetings were held during the last fifteen years, and
these were intensified during the last five years. In actual fact, the surfeit
of meetings held on this issue with Government must surely break all records in
Malta.
At all times, various aspects of the agreement were discussed in meetings held
for all pharmacy owners, be they pharmacists or lay. The Joint Negotiating
Committee was always given a mandate to do so by the vast majority of pharmacy
owners.

 

GRTU
is surprised that a person of the experience of Reggie Fava, who besides being
an established businessman is also a pharmacist, is insisting that “money”
rather than “service to patients” should have been given more importance in the
negotiations. This is in direct contrast to what GRTU and the Chamber of Pharmacists, have consistently, in the whole process of
negotiations adopted as the most important criteria, the well-being and optimum
service to patients without the suffering of any financial loss to pharmacies. GRTU
and the Chamber of Pharmacists strongly believe that patients in
MaltaMalta.
The scheme is in its initial first stage and deserves the full support of all genuine
professionals.
entitled to free medicines deserved the same professional service as a fee
paying patient using the excellent professional services offered by our
pharmacies in the community. This is what the POYC agreement is introducing in

 

During
the last 15 years of negotiations, both organisations kept in mind the principle
that the patients’ needs come foremost. Indeed, the agreement has achieved a
happy balance between cost effectiveness, healthcare in the community and
service to the patient. This agreement means that the patients in our towns and
villages will finally have the professional service of a pharmacist in their
community and this will do away with the hardships suffered over so many years
by patients. This can only lead to a truly holistic community service that will
in turn improve dramatically the level of Primary Care in the community. The
payment to pharmacists covers the costs that will be incurred with such a scheme, and the financial package and the pharmacy
regulations package was approved by the absolute vast majority of pharmacy
owners.

 

It
is regrettable that Reggie Fava and a marginal minority remained on the
periphery seeking only financial interests in superiority of the total
advantages to pharmacies in the community as an essential lead in the health
service to the community. It is however with satisfaction that GRTU and Chamber
of Pharmacists have now witnessed the registration of this peripheral minority
of objecting pharmacy owners, who have now accepted to adhere also to the agreed
POYC project. This happy conclusion signified that 99 % of pharmacies will be
giving the POYC service to the public in
Malta
and Gozo. GRTU, along with the other social partners, the Chamber of Pharmacists
and the Health Ministry, is working hard to conclude the pilot study
preliminaries in the coming week. Pharmacy owners and pharmacists in the pilot
area have worked very hard in the last month to gather the necessary data for
the scheme. They should be applauded and not be demoralised by such negativity
expressed by, surprisingly enough a fellow pharmacy owner and
pharmacist.

 

On
this issue Reggie Fava stands alone.

 

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