(Photo: iStock)

Grassroots campaigning organisation 38 Degrees has backed calls for the government to recompense pharmacies for the extra costs they have incurred by staying open to provide health services during the Covid-19 pandemic.

A 38 Degrees petition which went live on Thursday (December 10) has already gathered nearly 2,000 signatures within 24 hours. The petition calls on the government to keep its promises to support the independent pharmacies, many of which are now in deficit.

“Community pharmacies are a critically important part of our healthcare system. During the pandemic they’ve been a lifeline providing vital healthcare for people up and down the country,” commented Cathy Warren, Campaign Manager at 38 Degrees.

“No one wants to see their local pharmacy close its doors because of a lack of financial support. That’s why thousands of members of the public are coming together to call on the government to give community pharmacies the cash injection they desperately need.”

The campaign has the support of the National Pharmacy Association (NPA).

“It’s great that such a high profile citizens group has taken this cause on, because it gives the general public an opportunity to have their say on a matter of importance to their daily lives and the lives of their loved-ones,” Andrew Lane, NPA Chair, said.

“We also want pharmacists and many others working in and around the community pharmacy sector to sign the petition. This is a simple way to make your feelings known about how pharmacies should be supported.

“A petition by itself is rarely enough to guarantee a change for the better, but it does remind the powers-that-be that people across the country really care about the future of this vital health care network.”

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