The Malta Independent 18 October 2021, Monday

pharmacy opening hours consultation lacking - Chamber of Commerce; other organisations consulted

Monday, 20 September 2021, 08:52 Last update: about 28 days ago

The Malta Chamber of Commerce, Enterprise and Industry said that it has not been approached on the the opening hours of pharmacies on Sunday.

It was reacting to reports in the press that health authorities are in advanced discussions with stakeholders for pharmacies to introduce a roster system to also start opening on Sunday afternoons.

The last correspondence that the chamber has had on the matter dates back to February 2020 and consists of a proposal made jointly with other stakeholders that provides for the enforcement of a roster for pharmacies to open on Sundays and public holidays, and for the service to be extended to a full day.

No further communication on this proposal has been received since, the chamber said in a statement.

The Chamber, on behalf of its Lead Professional Pharmacists Business Section, urged the relevant authorities to consult with the relevant stakeholders before proceeding with implementation to ensure that the public is better served and that there is a level playing field between all pharmacies.

The Chamber of SME’s, along with the Chamber of Pharmacies, have been in discussions with Government to enhance the Pharmacy Service even on Sundays, a Chamber of SME’s statement read. “This is no easy task. There are large logistical and other costs involved, and any enhancement of the service must take this into account. There is also a human cost in the equation to consider. It is a known fact that the pharmacy service in Malta is one of the best, however, times change, and necessary tweaking is essential in order to improve an already excellent service. The Chamber of SME’s will continue consulting its members and work towards an equitable solution that will ensure a fair compromise.” 

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