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Minor Ailments

Pharmacy Service (NHS), North Ireland

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The Minor Ailments Scheme

What Is It?

In a nuthsell, the Minor Ailments Scheme (or MAS) is a program which aims to help both patients and doctors by making the health system more efficient.

Namely, MAS is organized so as to allow patients suffering from minor ailments to visit local pharmacies instead of going  to their GP. Thus, doctors have more time and energy to treat more serious conditions; and patients have a faster access to some medications.

In the long run, the Minor Ailments Scheme strives to change patients’ culture. Because stats show many GPs suffer from work overload due to consultations of this kind.

How Does It Work?

All of our pharmacists are qualified and have completed a MAS training package.

So, in case you have one of those listed below, just visit us and ask to speak one of our trained professionals. You don’t need to book an appointment! But, you do need to fill out a short questionnaire to complete. Afterward, you will be advised if the minor ailment affecting you can be treated under the Minor Ailment Scheme. 

Note that if you are exempt from paying prescription charges (see here), you won’t have to pay for the medicine.

What Does It Cover?

Depending on many different factors, the MAS covers numerous ailments.

Sick childSuch as:

  • Athlete’s Foot
  • Cold Sores
  • Colds
  • Cough
  • Dhobie Itch
  • Diarrhoea
  • Ear Wax
  • Hay Fever
  • Head Lice
  • Headache
  • Heart burn
  • Indigestion
  • Mouth ulcers
  • Muscular pain
  • Oral Thrush
  • Teething
  • Temperature
  • Threadworms
  • Vaginal Thrush

Whilst in most cases the treatment recommended by our Pharmacist will cure your condition it is important that if your symptoms persist you seek further advice from the Pharmacist or GP.

If you choose to visit your GP always let the Doctor know you have been to Murphy’s Chemist and what medication you have been taking.

Some Important Points

Some things you should no upfront:

  • You can only use MAS in case you really need it; you can’t use it to stock up free medications for your children;
  • In fact, if a pharmacist thinks that you’re abusing the Minor Ailments Scheme, he/she has every right to refuse granting you free medicine;
  • Murphy’s Pharmacy – or any other, for that matter – has no obligation to provide you with a specific brand of medicine; in fact, if a cheaper alternative exists – it’s much more likely that you’ll get that medicine instead;
  • You can always opt not to use the scheme and buy the medicine via the usual way.

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