Unemployed pharmacists of TN demand filling up of vacancies in govt hospitals

Demanding immediate filling up of the posts of pharmacists in government hospitals and PHCs and pressing for various other demands, the Tamil Nadu Pharmacist Welfare Association (TNPWA), a body of unemployed pharmacists  in association with Indian Pharmacist Association has taken out a rally in Chennai, in which about 6000 registered pharmacists took part.

Later the office bearers of the association called on the state health minister at his office and submitted a memorandum signed by 10000 pharmacists demanding the government to take urgent measures to fill up the vacancies. As per norms government has to appoint pharmacists in a ratio of one pharmacist for 100 patients in the Out Patient Ward and one pharmacist for 75 patients in the In Patient Ward.

According to TNPWA, there are 350 posts of pharmacists lying vacant in the Government Hospitals, Medical College Hospitals, PHCs and ESIs. They said for the last 30 years the government is not creating additional posts of pharmacists. If the norms of appointment are to be complied with, the government has to appoint 4000 pharmacists. In  most of the hospitals, the pharmacist – patient ratio is not satisfactory.

The president of the association, D Patten Raj said the association will take out another rally in Chennai to press other demands which include implementation of section 42 of the Pharmacy Act. He said 50 per cent of the retail outlets are run by unqualified persons and the pharmacy council is not taking any step to enforce the Act. He added that out of the 35000 medical stores in the state, only very few have full time pharmacists.

Further the association raised a demand that all the pharmacies in the private nursing homes and hospitals must be manned by qualified pharmacists. Several hospitals are running their pharmacies without pharmacists. There are 65000 registered pharmacists in Tamil Nadu and majority of them are unemployed.

G Krishna Murthy, the secretary of Tamil Nadu Government Pharmacist Association said there were 570 retirement vacancies in 2011 and government filled up 300 posts. He said the total number of pharmacist posts in all the health centres is 3200.