Health Minister Simon Hamilton has praised local pharmacists for the invaluable contribution they make to local communities throughout Northern Ireland.
During a visit to Parker Pharmacy in Comber the Minister saw at first hand a number of services provided to the community.
The Minister said: “We must not underestimate the key role of the pharmacist in the local community. The pharmacist is simply not there to dispense medications. They are a key resource and are well placed to provide a focal point for the provision of health advice, information and services to support healthier lifestyles and well-being throughout life.
“Pharmacists may be able to offer some sort of support service or treatment without the patient having to make an appointment to see their GP. This kind of professional advice is not only free but it helps take some of the burdens of GP practices and local minor injury units.”
During his visit Mr Hamilton presented the first prize in a children’s art competition run by the pharmacy.
Notes to editors:
- It is estimated that on a daily basis approximately 9% of the population visit community pharmacies in the urban and rural areas where they live.
- Community pharmacies are often open when other healthcare providers are unavailable and offer convenient access to a trained healthcare professional without the need for an appointment.
- In addition, people increasingly access services provided by pharmacists in other locations in the community such as GP practices, at home, including nursing or residential homes, workplaces and in intermediate care settings.
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