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PCRS payments rise to €3 billion in 2019

The HSE Primary Care Reimbursement Service (PCRS) made total payments and reimbursements of €3 billion last year, according to the PCRS Statistical Analysis of Claims and Payments 2019 report.

Published recently, the figure is an increase when compared to total PCRS payments in 2018, which amounted to €2.9 billion.

The report reveals that payments to GPs for fees and allowances totalled €589 million, made up of €429 million in GP fees, €160 million in GP allowance and €310,000 in general practice development.

GP fees and allowances increased last year when compared to data for 2018, but general practice development last year was down on 2018 levels, when the amount paid out was €490,000, according to the report.

Payment to pharmacists amounted to €1.3 billion last year. Spending on drugs and medicines administered through pharmacies last year totalled €950 million, up from €919 million in 2018, while pharmacists were paid €375 million in fees and stock order mark-up last year.

Pharmacist high tech patient care fees amounted to €25 million in 2019 compared to €23 million in 2018.

Spending on high tech drugs and medicines continued to increase, rising to €849 million last year, up from €781 million in 2018.

More than €68 million was paid to hospitals for oncology drugs and medicines last year. Over €46 million was paid out for Hepatitis C drugs and medicines.

Over 79 million prescription items were paid for by the PCRS in 2019, an increase of 1.72 million items on 2018. Meanwhile, prescription charges of €85.33 million were gathered last year.

Administrations costs rose from almost €39 million in 2018 to almost €43 million in 2019.

More than 1.5 million were eligible for the GMS scheme in 2019, a slight decrease based on figures for 2018. In 2012, 1.85 million people were eligible for the GMS scheme.

Over 524,000 people were entitled to a GP visit card in 2019, up by more than 20,000 when compared to figures for the previous year.

Over 296,000 were registered on the Long Term Illness (LTI) scheme last year.

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