Pharmacists cry foul over staff shortage in health centres

 For the last few years, pharmacists under the state health services posted at primary health centres and community health centres have been burdened with heavy workload due to manpower shortage.

Published: 14th October 2020 05:09 AM  |   Last Updated: 14th October 2020 05:09 AM   |  A+A-

Illus: Express

Express News Service

KOCHI: For the last few years, pharmacists under the state health services posted at primary health centres and community health centres have been burdened with heavy workload due to manpower shortage. Apart from their engagement at the health centres, they also issue medicines and maintain pharma stocks/ equipment at Covid First-Line Treatment Centres (CFLTCs), draining them physically and mentally.

Though around 250 pharmacists were employed on a contract basis by the National Health Mission in the wake of Covid-19 spread, except Kottayam, none of the CFLCTs in the other districts witnessed the appointment of pharmacists. The Kerala Government Pharmacists’ Association has voiced its concern over this.

K A Shiaz, district president, KGPA, pointed out that despite the primary health centres in the district having catered to around 300-400 patients daily in the pre-Covid times, the PHCs had to make do with the services of a single pharmacist each.

“Considering the fact that our working hours have been extended by around four hours, paired with the sharp rise in patient footfall, at least three pharmacists should be posted at the family and primary health centres to manage the work effectively. The Health Department still follows the staff pattern of 1961 when there were only 150 types of medicines in the state which have increased considerably since then,” he said.

The failure of the government to create the required number of pharmacist posts under the Aardram Mission was pointed out by N K Premanandan, state secretary, KGPA. “Only 150 pharmacist posts were created as part of the first phase of Aardram Mission as opposed to the required 180. Although nurses and doctors were appointed as part of the project’s second phase, no post of pharmacist was created even if 200 were needed,” he said.

 “More CFLTCs will have to be opened in this scenario which will create problems for pharmacists across the state,” said Premanandan. He added that the government should focus on creating pharmacist posts instead of hiring pharmacists on a temporary basis to resolve the issue. 



Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp