Overcrowding at Methadone clinics in DublinPosted on August 7th, 2009 No comments
METHADONE programmes for drug addicts are struggling to cope with overcrowding at some clinics as the pharmacy dispute enters its sixth day.
One methadone clinic in Dublin which normally caters for 500 heroin addicts was yesterday forced to deal with about 1,500 patients.
The Amiens Street City Clinic in north Dublin was the only clinic in the capital dispensing methadone after the rest of the city’s clinics withdrew their services as the pharmacists’ dispute continued.
However, last night the Health Service Executive (HSE) stressed that arrangements to manage the methadone maintenance programme “are working satisfactorily, with no problems being reported”.
In a statement, the HSE said that some additional clinics were set up in the Eastern and North-Eastern areas to accommodate people using the service.
It outlined that a separate contract covers participation by pharmacists in the methadone programme and this service is not covered by the state drugs schemes.
“The fee payable to pharmacists to provide the methadone maintenance service was increased in 2008/9 by 5pc and these fees were unaffected by the recent initiatives to lower the prices of medicines,” the HSE said.