Irish Pharmacy Union calls for suspension of medical card prescription levy amid Covid-19 spread

Irish Pharmacy Union calls for suspension of medical card prescription levy amid Covid-19 spread
The IPU says it is "impossible" for volunteers to pay the levy for elderly patients. File picture.

The Irish Pharmacy Union (IPU) are calling for the medical card prescription levy to be suspended for the duration of the crisis.

Age Action say people who are advised to cocoon are turning up in pharmacies to pay for medicines.

The IPU says this is because patients currently need to pay the prescription levy, and that it is "impossible" for volunteers to do it for them.

It says eliminating this charge would be a compassionate gesture, and a benefit to the most vulnerable patients.

Meanwhile, Post Offices are to close on Saturday to give staff a "well-earned break".

Debbie Byrne, Managing Director of An Post Retail, said: “Postmasters and Post Office staff have put in a massive effort in recent weeks to look after customers and ensure continuity of postal, financial and welfare payment services while having the necessary physical distancing measures in place."

    Useful information
  • The HSE have developed an information pack on how to protect yourself and others from coronavirus. Read it here
  • Anyone with symptoms of coronavirus who has been in close contact with a confirmed case in the last 14 days should isolate themselves from other people - this means going into a different, well-ventilated room alone, with a phone; phone their GP, or emergency department;
  • GPs Out of Hours services are not in a position to order testing for patients with normal cold and flu-like symptoms. HSELive is an information line and similarly not in a position to order testing for members of the public. The public is asked to reserve 112/999 for medical emergencies at all times.
  • ALONE has launched a national support line and additional supports for older people who have concerns or are facing difficulties relating to the outbreak of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) in Ireland. The support line will be open seven days a week, 8am-8pm, by calling 0818 222 024

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