Why Hospital Pharmacy Jobs Are Increasing More In Ireland Than Ever

Did you know that there are 1,942 pharmacies in Ireland?

This number includes both community pharmacies and hospital pharmacies.

Community pharmacies provide prescriptions to the general public in a retail setting. Hospital pharmacies are located in hospitals themselves.

In fact, hospital pharmacy jobs are on the rise in Ireland. Why is this the case, and is a hospital pharmacy position right for you?

In this post, we answer these questions and more!

What is a Hospital Pharmacist?

Hospital pharmacists dispense medication in a hospital setting. They are also known as pharmacy technicians, clinical pharmacists, and pharmacologists.

Most hospital pharmacists are at the top of their field’s pay grade. This is because they have the most intensive and rewarding role in their industry.

Monitoring the Distribution of Medication

A hospital pharmacist’s primary role is to distribute medication to hospital patients. Every day, they check this distribution to ensure safety and high-quality treatment.

New drugs enter the scene all the time. For this reason, most hospital pharmacists are always learning. They must stay up to date with new medications. This enables them to give their patients the best solution to their medical needs.

Some hospital pharmacists compound medicines themselves. This involves mixing appropriate doses and dispensing these to patients.

Prescription Review

Hospital pharmacists work with other hospital practitioners. They review prescriptions practitioners write to ensure they are accurate.

Pharmacists often confirm that a certain medication is right for an individual patient.

This is a key component of a hospital pharmacist’s role. Prescription errors are a global problem and can put both patients and hospitals at risk.

Assess and Advise

Hospital pharmacists are walking prescription dictionaries! They provide all kinds of information to patients and medical staff.

This includes details about medicine brands and dosage. Pharmacists also know about common drug side effects.

On-site pharmacists also assess the effectiveness of certain drugs, analyzing patient response.

They are also well-versed in drug storage. Hospitals often have tight regulations for the secure storage of drugs. Plus, some prescriptions are temperature sensitive.

Hospital pharmacists may also inspect the way that hospitals dispense drugs. This is important for a hospital to stay in line with various policies. Pharmacists can also identify the purity and/or strength of medications.

Stock Management

Hospital pharmacists have an intimate understanding of a hospital’s supply of medicine. They ensure that inventories are always updated.

In most cases, pharmacists actually order and manage a hospital’s prescription stock. They also handle hospital medical tools.

Patient Records

Pharmacists do spend most of their time engaging with medical staff. But they can interact with patients.

At the very least, they’ll keep tabs on patient records. Pharmacists may also provide occasional prescription advice to hospital patients.

Why Are Hospital Pharmacy Jobs in Ireland Increasing?

Of the 1,942 Irish pharmacies, the vast majority of these are community pharmacies. In fact, there are currently only 78 hospital pharmacies in Ireland.

So why are hospital pharmacy jobs on the rise? We have some ideas.

1. Pharmacists Are Leaving Community Pharmacies

Despite the fact that Ireland is home to over 1,800 community pharmacies, plenty of young pharmacists are steadily leaving these. In fact, the exodus is so severe that the Irish Times called it a ‘threat to the community sector.’

Why are pharmacists trading their community positions for others?

The reasoning is still rather unclear. However, some practitioners say that community pharmacies are more likely to be burdened by bureaucracy and frustrating administration.

Pharmacy school graduates may also feel more limited in community pharmacist roles. Irish community pharmacists often work within a more limited scope than, say, U.K. or Canadian pharmacists.

For those who wish to remain as pharmacists, hospital pharmacies make an attractive alternative.

Most Irish hospital pharmacists get to fill more daily prescriptions, on average, than community pharmacists. Some hospital pharmacists may fill up to 1,000 prescriptions a day!

Hospital pharmacists also tend to interact less with patients. This can be advantageous for pharmacists wanting to apply their diverse knowledge of medication.

Hospitals often tend to be less weighed down by bureaucracy than community services, too.

As a result, general pharmacist positions in Ireland are in great demand.

2. Hospital Pharmacists Earn More

Hospital pharmacists tend to earn more than community or retail pharmacists. In fact, they tend to earn the highest pay in their field!

Entry-level community pharmacists typically earn between 40,000 and 60,000 EUR annually. Experienced hospital pharmacists can take home as much as 100,000 EUR annually.

These paychecks will definitely vary by employer and years of experience. Hospital pharmacist positions also often require technical experience prior to hiring.

However, many community pharmacists achieve this technical experience.

Hospital pharmacists are also likely to enjoy greater benefits, including time off. While their role is often more intensive than that of a community pharmacist, the payoff is significant.

3. More Pharmacies Are Emerging in Ireland

More and more pharmacies are emerging in Ireland.

2018 alone saw a 6.89% increase in Irish pharmacies! This number is only likely to increase in the coming years.

Yes, the majority of these are community pharmacies. Yet keep in mind the fact that many community pharmacists eventually transition to other medical positions, including pharmacy technician jobs at Irish hospitals.

Thus, the more pharmacies there are in Ireland, the greater demand there is for qualified workers.

4. Opportunities for Growth

Hospital pharmacists enjoy significant opportunities for growth.

It’s not uncommon, for example, for a hospital pharmacist to become eligible for a supervisory role after a certain time period. Many often progress to traditional consultant roles.

Hospital pharmacists can also transition to other advanced medical careers if they so choose. For example, they may consider becoming ambulatory care pharmacists, critical care pharmacists, and even academic pharmacists down the road.

Some pharmacists even choose to open their own chemist’s shop after a certain amount of time. Others may transition to pharmacological manufacturing, research, and/or development.

Choosing positions with opportunity for career growth can be very important to some medical students, especially those who want to apply what they have learned in pharmacy school.

5. General Practitioners Are Overburdened

There’s no doubt about it: general practitioners in Ireland are overburdened. Some have exceedingly long waiting lists.

In fact, last year, over 718,000 patients were on a waiting list of some kind to see a practitioner. This was a record number for Ireland’s healthcare system.

Doctors need all the help they can get to service a growing community and its medical needs. Both hospital and community pharmacists can offer this help.

For this reason, pharmacy jobs are in extra demand in Ireland and the U.K. in general.

6. Less Customer Service

Hospital pharmacists tend to spend more time filling prescriptions than engaging with patients. Community pharmacists, after all, interact with the public throughout their shifts.

Some people prefer to engage more with customers. For the most part, however, many young pharmacists prefer to provide less customer service in their medical careers.

They may prefer to interact with other colleagues instead, including nurses and medical staff. In fact, most hospital pharmacists also advise fellow staff members about dosage, effectiveness, and medication alternatives.

Are You Thinking About a Pharmacy Career in Ireland?

Does the idea of becoming a hospital pharmacist in Ireland sound attractive? If so, here are some things to keep in mind.


To be eligible for hospital pharmacist positions, candidates will need a bachelor’s degree in pharmaceutical science from an accredited four-year school of pharmacy.

There are three accredited schools in Ireland: Trinity College Dublin (TCD), the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI), and University College Cork (UCC).

Candidates will also need to enroll in a one-year technical internship after they graduate. This will result in a level 9 master’s degree.


Most hospitals will prefer that pharmacists have hospital experience of some kind prior to applying. This is still the case even if you have worked as a community or retail pharmacist for 1-2 years.

Hospital pharmacists must also be registered with the Pharmaceutical Society of Ireland (PSI). In Ireland, you have to be registered with the PSI in order to practice at any medical institution.

Register with the PSI for the first time here.

Other Stipulations

Hospital pharmacists should also be eligible to work in Ireland. If you are not an Irish citizen, you may be wondering how you can get permission to work abroad!

At MedDoc, we specialize in helping people obtain the permissions they need to work in Ireland, including registration and visas. Check out our answers to frequently asked questions here.

Final Thoughts: Hospital Pharmacy Jobs in Ireland

Hospital pharmacy jobs are in great demand in Ireland!

More pharmacies are cropping up in Ireland as a whole. Plus, community pharmacies are losing a substantial portion of their staff.

Hospital pharmacists also enjoy a higher pay scale than other pharmacist positions. Individuals with these roles are poised for great career advancement, which can be an asset for dedicated medical professionals.

Are you ready to launch your hospital pharmacy career? Here at MedDoc, we connect qualified applicants to Irish employers in the medical industry.

Get started with your job search now!