Almost half of pharmacy staff say they have to deal with aggressive customers on a weekly or daily basis, up five fold on two years ago.
Research by the national pharmacy association KNMP involving 700 pharmacy assistants found many patients are angry they now have to pay €6 for advice when picking up a new prescription.
The fee was introduced at the beginning of last year in a move the health ministry said would improve transparency. The fee used to be included in the price of the drug.
However, the KNMP says patients cannot understand why they are being asked to pay pharmacies for advice and often take out their anger on the assistants.
The research shows 78% of assistants have little or no pleasure in their jobs, compared with just 17% prior to 2014.
KNMP directer Gerbern Klein Nulent told broadcaster Nos he is extremely worried. ‘Boundaries are being overstepped,’ he said. ‘Our assistants… are the ones who have to explain government policy to the patients. Separating out the cost of providing medicine has completed the confusion.’
The KNMP wants the government to reverse its decision to make patients pay separately for advice.
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