Aliiance prospective Assembly candidate Naomi Long has said that news that the Health Minister has rejected pharmacy deregulation in Northern Ireland will be warmly welcomed by elderly people.
Ms Long said that east Belfast: “The ill thought-out plans for deregulation would undoubtedly have led to the demise of the community pharmacy in east Belfast. People here rely on pharmacies for medical advice, which aren’t necessarily the most profitable locations.
“Many pharmacies would have clustered in large shopping centres, and that would have led to greater social exclusion, particularly for the elderly.
“We have a large rural population here, and deregulation would simply have led to pharmacies being situated in more profitable towns and cities – not where they are actually needed.
“Community pharmacies are vital to many, and I thank the Minister for putting health before profit.”