Health Minister Michelle O’Neill visited on Wednesday the Springfield Road GP practice to see the benefits of the integrated pharmacy and GP surgery.
Minster O’Neill said, “I appreciate the challenges facing GP-led services and the fact that demand for GP-led services is increasing. I am committed to developing a long-term plan to ensure that GP services continue to provide high-quality care to the population on a sustainable basis.
“I have invested £1.7million in practice-based pharmacists this year to help ease some of the GP workload and improve the service for patients.”
The Minister added: “Altogether community pharmacies here in the north of Ireland dispensed over 40 million prescription items last year and their unequalled access to patients provides them with the opportunity to promote wellbeing through the best use of medicines and healthy lifestyles.
“With a growing population presenting with more long-term complex needs, getting the best outcomes from the medicines that are prescribed and supplied can help reduce the number of people needing hospital treatment and alleviate the burden on acute care.
“This surgery is an excellent example of the direct benefits of the Pharmacists in Practice initiative and clearly demonstrates improved patient outcomes for the people in this area of Belfast.”