National Pharmacy News

Title: Pharmacists unfairly blamed
Date: 15-Dec-2011
Category: the star online

WE read “Malacca Hospital gets more funds” (The Star, Dec 12) and “Hospitals in Malacca out of medicine” (The Star, Dec 7) with dismay.

While the pharmacy profession was not named specifically in the articles, the comments unfairly paint the pharmacy profession as incompetent and unable to discharge its duties of medication procurement and management effectively, thus leading to the medication shortage in Malacca.

This is despite the statement by the Malacca Chief Minister that the shortage was due to the failure of the Health Ministry to release its allocation to Malacca Hospital to purchase medications (“Medication shortage due to allocation delay” – The Star, Dec 10).

There was nothing about the pharmacists’ failure to request more funds or planning for shortages. As a matter of fact, the report stated that the hospital had indeed attempted to source medicines from other hospitals.

The failure of the ministry to provide allocations has not only resulted in the unfair loss of public confidence in the pharmacy profession, but has also made the professional duties of pharmacists all the more difficult as they are unable to provide quality medicines to their patients.

In addition, some of our members reported that they faced disgruntlement from the public who believed the pharmacists in public health institutions were unable to discharge their duties competently.

As pharmacists, we wish to reiterate that the sacred goal of our profession is to provide quality medicines with optimal pharmaceutical care.

We hope the ministry improves its procedures for the disbursement of funds for the procurement of medicines and that proper reviews are done to ensure that these allocations are sufficient in order to allow the pharmacists to discharge their professional duties effectively.

It is only by working efficiently and effectively that we can achieve the goals of improving the healthcare of Malaysians as enshrined in the 10th Malaysia Plan as well as the Government Transformation Plan.

We also applaud the staff of Malacca Hospital for performing their duties professionally despite the difficult circumstances.

Petaling Jaya.

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