Bacik welcomes recognition for Pharmaceutical Assistants

Ivana Bacik TD
18 September 2020

Labour Senator and spokesperson on Children, Disability, Equality and Integration, Ivana Bacik has welcomed the passage through the Seanad today of an amendment she and the Labour group had proposed to the Regulated Professions (Health and Social Care) (Amendment) Bill 2019, which provides for recognition of pharmaceutical assistants.

Senator Bacik said:

“Today we completed Report stage in the Seanad of the Regulated Professions (Health and Social Care) (Amendment) Bill 2019. On 18 December 2019, at Committee Stage, an amendment to section 53 of the Bill, which itself amends section 7 of the Pharmacy Act 2007, was passed. This amendment was an Opposition amendment which I proposed on behalf of the Labour Party. It provides important professional recognition for pharmaceutical assistants.

“Pharmaceutical assistants are a small group of professionals who completed a course which was run by the PSI under the 1890 Pharmacy Act but which ceased in 1982; no new pharmaceutical assistants have qualified in the State since 1986. There are less than 300 persons holding this qualification who are still working, the majority of whom are older women, many dispensing prescriptions for different generations of families over decades in the same local or community pharmacies.

“I am delighted that the Minister for Health accepted my amendment today at Report stage, meaning that section 53 of the Bill will – once confirmed by the Dail – provide for important recognition of this small group. The amendment will have a significant effect for this group and for those pharmacies which are kept open due to the contribution of pharmaceutical assistants.

“Today as we mark the first-ever UN International Equal Pay Day (18th September 2020), it is good to know that this amendment has been passed recognising the contribution of a group of predominantly women working in pharmacy. I look forward to its swift passage through the final stage in the Dail and early commencement.”

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