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DDA chairman to contribute to international rural dispensing drive

WONCA conference raises profile of dispensing practice

May 27th 2022

Tagged: DDA news

By Ailsa Colquhoun

DDA chairman Dr Richard West will contribute to a workshop on dispensing in rural practice, which hopes to develop a statement on rural dispensing.

The workshop, which takes place at the 2022 WONCA World Rural Health Conference in Limerick, Ireland (June 17-20)  aims to promote dispensing as an essential service to rural and isolated communities and as a as a sound business model, ensuring the viability of rural practice in the future.

In a number of countries, this patient-centred service has been decommissioned. Dr West says: Some 80 per cent of the population lives in urban areas. Politicians are all based in urban areas even if they are elected from rural ones,  and there are no marginal seats in rural areas. We need to make a clear case for why the model works well for patients and the health service. Politicians need to understand there is a problem that needs a solution.”

Joint workshop chair Dr Jerry Cowley, representing the Irish Rural, Island and Dispensing Doctors Association said: “Some years ago dispensing was abolished [in Ireland]. A major furore ensued which ensured [its] reestablishment. This is testament to its essential value to the vulnerable people who benefit from it on a daily basis.

“Dispensing is an integral part of the essential fabric of rural practice. Since we are doing the same work as the pharmacist we deserve the same remuneration and support.”