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Kerala: Government MCHs faces acute shortage of pharmacists


Kerala: Government MCHs faces acute shortage of pharmacists

After the breakup of the Directorate of Health Services to form the DME in 2008-09, no new posts of pharmacists have been created. Non-permanent staff or those appointed on daily wages in case of retirements. Moreover, there has been no increment in the number of posts despite the introduction of a new scheme and facilities.

Kozhikode:  In a major setback, most government medical college hospitals (MCHs) in the State are in dearth of pharmacists to dispense drugs. The reason cited for this acute problem is the supply of many specific drugs through pharma stores connected to the MCHs. This has caused difficulty for needy patients.

There are 41 empty posts of pharmacists at the MCHs in Kozhikode, Thrissur, Kottayam, Alappuzha, Kollam and Thiruvananthapuram, which are attached to the Directorate of Medical Education (DME).

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As per recent media report, Government Medical College Hospital, Kozhikode is undergoing shortfall of pharmacists, where 19 of the total 41 posts are vacant.

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At the Kozhikode MCH, there are now pharmacy stores at the super-speciality block, cancer ward, at the Institute of Maternal and Child Health, and the Institute of Chest Diseases. However, existing staff are being assigned at most of these places instead of creating new posts.

There has been an upsurge in the count of patients and the speciality medicines being distributed too. Medicines worth around Rs 24 crore has been distributed at the Kozhikode MCH in the current financial year.

However, there is no accountability as the staffs are temporary, even though costly medicines are being dispensed at the pharmacy stores.

After the breakup of the Directorate of Health Services to form the DME in 2008-09, no new posts of pharmacists have been created. Non-permanent staff or those appointed on daily wages in case of retirements. Moreover, there has been no increment in the number of posts despite the introduction of a new scheme and facilities.

Prior to the bifurcation of the Directorate of Health Services, the Kerala Public Service Commission recruited candidates from the district level. However, post the bifurcation, the process lagged and did not happen which was supposed to be held at the state level.

Remla Beevi, Director of Medical Education, told The Hindu that there had been no laxity on their part on reporting the vacancies to the Kerala Public Service Commission.

In the meantime, the Kerala Government Pharmacists’ Association has submitted a letter to the government seeking to create new posts.

There have been quite a few grievances from patients too.

Also Read: New Proposal: Separate Shelf for Generics In Pharmacies, Pharmacists can Prescribe Alternatives


Source: With inputs
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