Pharmacist associations rate warning strikes as a success
With warning strikes, pharmacists on Wednesday once again substantiated their demands for better remuneration. Thousands of pharmacies in Baden-Württemberg, Rhineland-Palatinate and Saarland joined the protest and left their doors closed yesterday. It was only operated by the emergency service hatch.
The pharmacists' warning strikes were a success, according to the Baden-Württemberg State Pharmacy Association (LAV). "Together with our colleagues in Rhineland-Palatinate and Saarland, we have shown that the profession stands together and stands up and fights collectively for its justified demands," emphasized LAV President Fritz Becker. The responses from the ranks of politics to the largest protests by pharmacists in Germany in ten years also show that this professional struggle has reached the responsible political departments, according to the LAV Baden-Württemberg.
Thousands of pharmacies on warning strike The state pharmacy associations of Baden-Württemberg, Rhineland-Palatinate and Saarland yesterday called a total of around 4,000 pharmacies to strike. The strike participation in Baden-Württemberg was around 80 percent. While pharmacists are legally obliged to be on duty, the law does not prescribe how they should perform their duties. So yesterday, customers received their medicines exclusively through the emergency service hatches. A week earlier, pharmacists in two regions of Baden-Württemberg had raised the issue of an appropriate protest to call for a reasonable increase in fees. Yesterday the warning strikes have now been expanded significantly.
First political reactions to the pharmacists' protest The spokeswoman for the Baden-Württemberg State Pharmacy Association, Carmen Gonzalez, emphasized that the first political reactions to the pharmacy warning strike followed yesterday evening. The Federal Minister of Finance Wolfgang Schäuble (CDU) has withdrawn his previous veto against the increase in the pharmacy fee proposed by the Ministry of Health by 25 cents per prescription drug (8.35 euros instead of 8.10 euros). The federal finance minister said via a spokesman, "After a thorough examination, it was decided that we could support the increase." A corresponding increase in fees could therefore come into force in 2013.
Pharmacists call for an increase in fees of one euro per prescribed medicine. However, the proposal to increase the fee by just 25 cents per prescribed medicine has so far been rejected by the pharmacist associations as significantly too low. The state pharmacy associations and the Federal Association of German Pharmacists' Associations (ABDA) had spoken in favor of an increase in fees “of around one euro (9.14 euros instead of 8.10 euros) per prescribed medicine for the 21,300 independent pharmacists with their approximately 148,000 employees”. "We believe that this is up to the pharmacies and just covers the additional costs," emphasized the spokeswoman for the LAV Baden-Württemberg. "I am absolutely convinced of the correctness as well as the sincerity of our demands and I know my colleagues behind me," said LAV President Fritz Becker. According to Carmen Gonzalez, the "demand for an increase of 1.04 euros compared to the planned increase of 25 cents. "
No further warning strikes pending a decision by politicians In the talks with the Federal Ministry of Economics, "we will once again present our factual arguments and place our numbered claims," stressed Fritz Becker German pharmacists' associations and the Federal Ministry of Economics, further warning strikes are not planned until the final decision on the fee adjustment. "We want to give politicians time and space for sensible results and evaluate them in detail," said Gonzalez If the decision of the federal government does not guarantee adequate future pharmacy management, the protests can continue, however. "All the facts are on the table - now it is the turn of politics", concludes Fritz Becker, the n Not only LAV President in Baden-Württemberg, but also Chairman of the German Pharmacists' Association. (fp)
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