Ninety per cent of homoeopathy pharmacies across the state do not have trained pharmacy staff - the reason, as pointed out by Homeopathy Department Officials, is the absence of a formal training course. The situation forces hospital authorities to run pharmacies with unqualified staff, which is a matter of worry as chances are very high that the patients may get wrong medicines.
The proposal to start formal homeopathy pharmacy courses in its colleges did not see the light of day. “Once, after buying medicines from the pharmacy, I came back t o see the doctor to ask about the pattern of consumption. But, when the doc saw the medicine, he came with me to the pharmacy and got me some other medicines. Later, I realised that the medicines given by the pharmacy staff were not the correct ones,” said Santhi Krishna, a patient.
When contacted the Principal and Controller of Homeopathy Colleges, Nisha Paul, admitted that there was a shortage of pharmacy staff in all homeopathy hospitals in Kerala.
“There was a course named NCP (nurse cum pharmacist), but it has been discontinued in its third year in 2009. It could only release 120 trained pharmacists in three years against a demand of at least 1,000.
The course did not have the approval of Indian Nursing Council and it was the key reason why we discontinued it to avoid complications in the future.” She also said that 940 homoeopathy pharmacies are functioning in Kerala. Most of those are running with unqualified staffs.
Homeopathy treatment has received a shot in the arm with the arrival of palliative care and revived cancer treatment facilities. More and more patients are becoming attracted to it.
Shortage of staff in this context becomes a serious issue which demands utmost consideration.
“The idea to start a new course to train people to work in homeopathy pharmacies are under consideration,” said Nisha.