Reduced opening hours and layoffs in pharmacies

962809(Quebec) Nearly 1,000 employees dismissed, reduced opening hours, decreased presence of pharmacists: the postponement of Quebec uncapping professional allowances provided for in the agreement signed with pharmacy owners in June 2015 had a major impact on economic community pharmacies and thus the accessibility of patients to pharmaceutical services.

At least that is what reveals a survey conducted in 1145 Leger pharmacies, 61% of pharmacies in Quebec, on behalf of the Quebec Association of Pharmacy Owners (AQPP).

Since September, half of Quebec pharmacies had to remove six hours of opening their regular schedules, and 934 employees, including 187 pharmacists, were dismissed. The results “alarming”, according AQPP.

“If it were jobs lost within the same company, the government would do everything possible to save them”, denounced in a statement the Director General of AQPP Jean Bourcier.

The owners pharmacists in June 2015, agreed to contribute to the fiscal effort of the government by paying $ 400 million over three years, their fees, points AQPP. As a mitigation measure, the government has committed to temporarily lift the cap on professional allowances (that is to say the amount defer to generic drug companies based on their purchases of a drug given).

Since September, therefore, pharmacists have paid $ 50 million to the government, but removing the ceiling is still not in force. “It’s a worrying time for community pharmacists. Since the early cuts, more than a quarter of the pharmacy owners had to call for new funding […]. We forget often they wear the two hats of health professionals and entrepreneurs, “says Jean Bourcier.

“No Minister of patients”

At a press conference on Wednesday, the PQ Jean-François Lisée accused Gaétan Barrette, who is “the minister of physicians, not pharmacists Minister nor the Minister of patients,” weakening the network of pharmacies.

“For 11 months, he made sure to reduce drug budgets without giving them the opportunity to offset otherwise. He broke his promise to pharmacists, “which went into debt on this promise, denounced in particular the member for Rosemont.

In impromptu press, the Minister of Health described the survey AQPP of “public relations”. “There is an agreement that has been signed, it is ongoing and it will result in the required time,” he assured.

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