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02 July 2013: “Greater transparency in the pricing structure and overall treatment package available to patients availing of vaccinations is urgently required” said Mr Chris Goodey (CEO of the NAGP) in response to today’s Morning Ireland discussion which highlighted that GPs were charging more for the service.

“Patients are being forced to make very tough choices in the current budgetary climate but healthcare shouldn’t be about price alone. GPs are uniquely placed to provide a safe, high-quality and effective service to patients and their families in a way that no other healthcare professional, including pharmacists, can” said Mr Goodey.

“GPs offer a range of services and are there, 24/7 for their patients doing out of hours services and travelling to patients across the country when and where they are needed. General practice in Ireland has been severely impacted in recent years – at the same time as our services are coming under greater pressure – and we continue to provide the best possible care to patients. Can the same be said of all healthcare services?” continued Mr Goodey.

The NAGP believes that both GPs and pharmacists are making vaccination services available to the public below-cost. Speaking on this, Mr Goodey stated: “the difference is, in my view, that pharmacists, who under law have exclusive rights to sell medicines can under-cut GPs as they have other sources of income including mark-ups on medicines and charges they make to non-medical card holders. Their overall income can be supported in this way – but a cheaper vaccination doesn’t mean a better service” said Mr Goodey.