26 Jan 2012

Job losses feared over New Caledonia drugs price cut

1:27 pm on 26 January 2012

There are fears of lay-offs in New Caledonia as a result of the government's decision to lower the price of drugs by at least nine percent.

Noumea's daily newspaper says just a day after the price drop came into effect, pharmacy employees have been advised that jobs are on the line.

Earlier this month, pharmacies closed for a day in a protest against the new government policy.

The action came amid a wider dispute over the territory's health care policies as professionals have had their fees frozen.

The doctors association has said to get revenue the government should use a sugar tax.

A government spokesperson has told local television that there is no plan to rescind the measures.

Last month, staff at drugs distributors striked for two weeks over the changes.