Press Release

Minister of State Hoctor addresses Irish Pharmaceutical Health Association’s conference “Switch-on to Self-Care”

Máire Hoctor, T.D., Minister for Older People, today (Wednesday, 25th March 2009) officially opened the ‘Switch-on to Self-Care’ conference of the Irish Pharmaceutical Association in the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland.

Addressing the conference, the Minister stated that the development of new Primary Care Teams “will encourage people to take control of and responsibility for their health through self-referral to the most appropriate primary care team member.”

“At the heart of the Primary Care Strategy is the aim of developing services in the community that give people direct access to integrated teams of general practitioners, nurses, speech and language therapists, physiotherapists, occupational therapists and others” she said.

The Minister indicated that a very important area of self-care is the availability of appropriate non-prescription medicines over the counter, under the supervision of a pharmacist, to treat minor ailments.

“A range of medicines is available in Ireland without a prescription” the Minister said. “These include medicines to treat a variety of minor illnesses including hayfever, common colds, minor skin irritations and infections, pain and inflammation and other minor ailments. The appropriate use of such medications enables patients to treat minor ailments themselves.”