INDEPENDENT NEWS

Pharmacies pay for bureaucratic delays

Published: Thu 19 Sep 2002 11:41 AM
Pharmacies pay for bureaucratic delays
Dr Lynda Scott - National Health Spokesperson
Health Minister Annette King must sort out the bureaucratic mess that has developed around pharmacy contracts because the system she set up is simply not working, says Dr Lynda Scott.
“Pharmacies around the country are being financially disadvantaged by the Ministry of Health not sorting out a delay in their new contract. Pharmacies have been waiting 15 months for this to be sorted and in that time their costs have increased.
“This bureaucratic nightmare is another example of the Government making unnecessary changes - contracting pharmacies to district health boards - that are causing a waste of time and taxpayers money.
“District health boards are financially strapped and clearly don’t want the responsibility for the increased costs of contracting pharmacies, which used to be funded directly from the Ministry of Health.
“Pharmacies are doing battle with DHBs to get their contract settled. This is harming the relationship between pharmacies and boards when the Government’s primary healthcare strategy requires they have a strong relationship.
“This bureaucratic mess has already cost over $400,000 and pharmacies don’t even have a contract yet. The Minister must say what she is going to do to solve this problem which is affecting small businesses throughout the country,” Dr Scott said.

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