PM: Patients will not pay for 'out of stock' medicines they have to get from pharmacies
Patients will not pay anything when they have to get medicines from private pharmacies because they out of stock in government dispensaries, the prime minister said this afternoon.
He explained that the medicines would be paid for by the government at an established price, but the transaction would be made with the pharmacies, not the individual patients.
The prime minister was speaking during a visit to the new cancer hospital near Mater Dei.
He appeared to be reacting to Labour claims that the way how the PN had proposed to refund patients when medicines were out of stock would still leave them out of pocket because they would have to pay the difference between the established price and the commercial price.
Dr Gonzi denied that the PN was making a u-turn, insisting that its proposal was being better explained. The bottom line, he said, was that patients would not pay anything, and the pharmacists would invoice the government.
On the building of the Oncology Centre, Dr Gonzi said the works were on time and below budget – with the savings being used for the purchase of more hospital equipment.
The new hospital consists of three blocks of five storeys each. Construction is being completed and fitting out has started.
The facility will start being used in a year’s time. At its core will be three linear accelerators for the diagnosis of cancer. Two will be new and the third will be transferred from Boffa Hospital, ensuring a seamless transfer of operations between the old hospital and the new.
The oncology hospital is being built at a cost of €54 million, of which 85% are EU funds.