THE EDITOR, Sir:
The minister of health, in his 2013-14 Sectoral Debate contribution, announced that there is a need for pharmacists both in the private and public sector. But I beg to differ.
Currently, there is a limited need for more pharmacists to be trained in Jamaica. In the private sector, there is a saturation of pharmacists to the number of jobs out there, while the public sector (the Government) is not taking on any more pharmacists because of a lack of resources to compensate them.
In the same breath, government pharmacists are paid two to three times less than their counterparts in the private sector. Public-sector pharmacists are overworked, underpaid, work in conditions that are less than ideal, and need urgent retooling.
The University of Technology, Jamaica, is currently training more than the work environment can absorb. I know for a fact that there are more than a hundred pharmacists out there living well below the poverty line!
A lot of us are out there without employment while the Government constantly says that pharmacists are needed in the island. But I dare say that this is a big, fat, ugly lie!
It used to be relatively easy to find employment, but currently, it is totally hopeless. Some of us are underemployed, poor, and suffering. Neither private pharmacies nor the Government are taking on more pharmacists. I beseech the Government to stop this nonsense and tell the truth just for once.