WHO recommends one pharmacist for 50 beds in hospitals

LAHORE: Only one pharmacist is available for over 1,200 beds in most hospitals while the World Health Organisation’s set standard is one pharmacist for 50 beds in the world.

This was stated by renowned pharmacist and leader of Pakistan Pharmacists Forum (PPF) Noor Mehar Advocate while talking to APP on Sunday.

Regarding the role of a pharmacist in a healthcare establishment, he said that a pharmacist prescribes the quantity and quality of medicines for a patient. Moreover, pharmacy services means services rendered by pharmacist in pharmaceutical care, selection, counselling, dispensing, prescription, monitoring, drug utilisation etc.

About different courses of pharmacy, he said that pharmacy has two disciplines; one is called B-Pharmacy of four years course, while the other is known as Masters of Pharmacy of five years course.

About the total number of institutions of pharmacy in the country, he said that around 45 institutions in public and private sectors were working in the country currently, including 28 in Punjab, which are producing around 2,700 pharmacists every year.

Over 15,000 pharmacists are in need of employment, out of which 10,000 are only in Punjab. Mostly pharmacist posts are vacant in hospitals, he said adding that 88 posts of pharmacists are lying vacant at Lahore General Hospital and 25 at the Punjab Institute of Cardiology (PIC).

He said a licence was required from the Central Pharmacy Council in Islamabad to run a medical store or a pharmacy, but unfortunately most of private institutions are working without a licence.

About problems faced by pharmacists, he said that old services structure was revived in October 2010, but it could not be implemented and that’s why pharmacists have to wait for 25 to 30 years for their promotion from BPS-17 to 18, he added.

Noor Mehar said that the Punjab government had ordered establishment of Pharmacy Departmnet in every hospital in October, 2012, but it has not been implemented so far.