Chemist ‘under threat’ as cuts to budget loom
Pharmacy owner fears for its future
THE owner of a Ruislip Manor chemist is calling for the public to sign a petition to save local pharmacy services.
Sanjay Doegar, who owns Ruislip Manor Pharmacy in Victoria Road, is worried community pharmacies are under threat as a result of a reduction in the national budget, with further cuts looming in the future.
He is lobbying MPs and is calling on his customers and Gazette readers to support an online petition entitled ‘stop cuts to pharmacy funding and support pharmacy services that save NHS money’. It has more than 10,000 signatures so far.
Mr Doegar said: “As everyone knows the health service is under considerable strain.
“Although the government has recognised the important role of pharmacies in alleviating queues at GP surgeries and A&E departments, it has decided to shrink our budget by six per cent.
“It’s tough to absorb a six per cent pay cut at a time when we have been called upon to ease the burden on the NHS – my pharmacy colleagues and I have had to deliver even more services and dispense more prescriptions.
“The pharmacy budget has not kept pace with inflation or real increases in cost over the years so shrinking it even further is a blow. Our only option may be to reduce our costs, which is bound to impact on jobs or services.”
Pharmacies are paid by the NHS to dispense prescriptions and provide some essential services such as flu vaccinations, but Ruislip Manor Pharmacy also provides other free services such as delivering medicines to vulnerable and housebound people.
Mr Doegar is concerned that independent pharmacies are being left to ‘shoulder the burden’ of a cut to their gross profit.
He added: “Ruislip Manor Pharmacy is also a small business, unlike the supermarkets, who can subsidise their pharmacies as a ‘loss leader’, and the multiples, who can spread the effect across the group.”
The Department of Health indicated that many community pharmacies are too close together and it expects some to shut as a result of the funding reductions.
But Mr Doegar said pharmacies should not be forced to close, adding if people agree they should sign the petition at https:// p e t i t i o n . p a rl i a ment. u k / petitions/116943.
n SIGN UP: Sanjay Doegar (third from right) and petitioners at Ruislip Manor Pharmacy