Chemist ‘un­der threat’ as cuts to bud­get loom

Phar­macy owner fears for its fu­ture

Harefield Gazette - - NEWS -

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

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