The pharmaceutical association voted on Wednesday to join the National Health Scheme (Gesy), after a more attractive framework for participation was drawn up by the Health Insurance Organisation (HIO).
In a general assembly on Wednesday afternoon, members of the pharmaceutical association accepted the improved deal tabled by the HIO, with 165 votes in favour, 139 against, while nine ballots were left blank and one was invalid.
After the association expressed concerns last month over changes in the system for compensation of pharmacists, the HIO revised its terms regarding financial coverage of pharmacists within Gesy.
Specifically, the new proposal drafted by the HIO included an increased budget for pharmacists, raising the overall sum from €27 million to €30 million, to include among other things financial coverage for updating software, amounting to €200 per pharmacy.
A total of €2.18 million has also been budgeted for the yearly purchases of pharmacies as compensation for their existing and expired stock.
The new terms also foresee that pharmacists will be compensated through a point system, according to which they will receive €1.90 for every packet of drugs sold.
The accepted deal also includes incentives to the tune of €25,000 for pharmacists who will opt to function under the same roof and cooperate with other pharmacists, while €10,000 is being offered to pharmacists who will operate in remote areas that currently have limited access to healthcare.
The HIO also guaranteed that the number and location of pharmacies working under Gesy will be monitored, to prevent an uncontrolled surge in pharmacies in certain areas.