Retain contract pharmacists in Ministry of Health (MOH)!

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Pharmacists are a group of healthcare professionals who play a very important role in the healthcare system, yet often forgotten. Have you ever thought of a healthcare system without pharmacists? It will be something like this:

  1. Hospitals and health clinics medication supply will be interrupted. (because PHARMACISTS are the ones in charge of the medication supply into hospitals and health clinics!)
  2. Patients' medications will not be screened and cross checked. (patients' safety might be at risk)
  3. Absence of proper medication counselling. (try guessing how and what you're taking for your illness)
  4. Lack of drug therapy monitoring. (some medications require monitoring and dosage adjustments)
  5. Lack of drug experts in the healthcare team.

NOW, the COVID-19 pandemic has further increased the workload of the healthcare front liners. Pharmacists' shifts are further extended to make up for the lack of manpower in the government healthcare settings. Yet, our Ministry of Health still decides to let go of contract pharmacists who are currently serving on the front line.

The Malaysian Pharmaceutical Society (MPS) and MPS-Young Pharmacist Chapter (MPS-YPC) have decided to urge the government to reconsider their decision and renew the contract of these pharmacists immediately. For that, we need YOUR help to support our initiative in maintaining the number of pharmacists who are currently fighting on the front line for the nation.

Here's the official statement by both bodies on status of contract pharmacists, which echoes the Malaysian Health Coalition’s position on the same matter:

ENSURING HEALTH SERVICES ARE NOT INTERRUPTED

  1. Following the call for health volunteers from the MOH, MPS and MPS Young Pharmacist Chapter have been made to understand that there are in fact contract pharmacists that are about to be let go by MOH.
  2. In the case of contract pharmacists, there are an estimated 3,500 of them whom we believe will leave MOH between April to December 2020 if their contract is not extended. Some will leave as early as 16 April 2020.
  3. Pharmacists play a critical role in this pandemic. Performing medication supply, counselling and review anywhere from the wards to the pharmacy, pharmacists serve as key anchors to the full suite of pharmaceutical services offered by the MOH, with the ultimate objective of ensuring efficiency, accuracy and timeliness in the process for the sake of patient safety.
  4. Considering there is an urgent need for healthcare workers to battle Covid-19, contract extension will enable the government to harness the experience and skill sets these pharmacists command from 3 years of intense training. Besides, these pharmacists are eager to serve and will most certainly hit the ground running too, without the need to acclimatise themselves to the inner workings of MOH.
  5. For reasons stated above, MPS and MPS Young Pharmacist Chapter calls on the government to renew the contract of these pharmacists immediately.

BERKHIDMAT UNTUK NEGARA.

Amrahi Buang, MPS President
Cedric Chua, MPS Young Pharmacist Chapter Chairman