500 Fórsa Hospital Pharmacist Members To Go On Strike Next Month

790

Fórsa’s hospital pharmacist members have voted overwhelmingly in favour of industrial action in a dispute over the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform’s (DPER) refusal to sanction an improved hospital pharmacy service which would deliver cost savings of €55m per year.

The union has served notice of a one-day strike action, by 500 hospital pharmacists, to the HSE and voluntary hospital representatives. The strike action by will take place on Wednesday 16th February.

Fórsa official Catherine Keogh explained: “DPER has refused to sanction measures that had already been backed by the Department of Health and the HSE. These are measures which would save the taxpayer €55m per year, and those savings have been validated by the employer.”

The union said a range of measures, including the sanctioned use of ‘biosimilar’ medicines, new senior posts, and a new grading structure for hospital pharmacists have all been developed to improve and modernise hospital pharmacy services, and bring them in line with international best practice.

A ballot to strike last December was deferred due to the outbreak of the Omicron variant of Covid-19. Ms Keogh said that the union had, in order to avoid strike action, sought recourse to the Labour Court, but DPER has instructed the HSE not to attend.