UPDATED: Pharmacists working in the public sector are on strike following a breakdown in talks with the government on Tuesday “because of reticence from the Office of the Prime Minister,” The Shift News can reveal.
Pharmacists who spoke to The Shift News said negotiations have been going on for two years in which they were asking for better career pathways such as posts of principal pharmacists open once a year, opportunities for a rotation programme for newly recruited pharmacists as the one given to doctors, specialisation opportunities and mentorship allowances.
Pharmacists also asked for better market correctivity and qualifications allowances and they are demanding the appointment of a non-technical CEO “who does not interfere with operational matters”.
They noted that there has been no opportunity for posts for principal pharmacists since 2013, when the Labour government came to power.
They also told The Shift News that the list of medicines that are regularly out of stock has recently increased, including medicines as basic as aspirin, Valsartan (an important medication for high blood pressure), Lantus (a long-acting insulin used for diabetic patients) and insulin cartridges.
UHM (Voice of the Workers Union) said it had issued some 30 directives, covering the roles in the sector occupied by pharmacists.