Do We Have Enough Pharmacies?

Health Minister Lawrie Hooper has asked his department to work up an expression of interest process for additional pharmacies, particularly in the north of the island.

Mr Hooper was facing questions in Tynwald over the Jurby Health and Community Centre from Ayre and Michael MHK Tim Johnston.

Mr Johnston had asked about the use of the centre and if there have been any discussions on the provision of a pharmacy.

Currently, residents from across much of the north have to go to Ramsey, but one of the town’s pharmacies is closed and Mr Hooper has been open about questioning whether an alternative is needed.

In Tynwald, the Lib Vannin leader said: ‘I have asked the Department to work up a public interest expressions process now to reach out to potential applicants who may be interested in running a pharmacy. The focus will be, I think, on Ramsey, because of the particular issues, but I would personally have no objection if people also expressed an interest in other areas of the island. For example, I have no objection at all if somebody was interested in operating a pharmaceutical provision out of the surgery at Jurby.’

However, he added that this would be a ‘commercial decision’ that needs to be made by chemists or pharmacists.