Pharmacist the necessity of health care system

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QUETTA: The word Pharmacy is derived from old French ‘Farmacie’-substance. Ancient Greek has given credence for foundation of pharmacy as a profession. 

In the Greek legend, ‘Asclepius’ the god of healing art assigns the compounding duties to ‘Hygieia’, she was his apothecary or pharmacist. Later in 9th century A-D pharmacy had acquired the shape of profession in civilized world of Baghdad. 

This primal form of pharmacy perfused later to Egypt, china and Europe. The first pharmacy professional course was taken by Philadelphia College of Pharmacy (PCP) in North America in 1821.

Pharmacy is a branch of science which contributes assimilative areas concerned with design, action, delivery and disposition of drug. It is an art and science of preparing, dispensing and analysis of drugs with respect to clinical services.

Pharmacist is licensed health care professional, who confer his services for compounding, dispensing, monitoring, counseling of drugs and other health care accessories for betterment of health. The principal goal of pharmacist care is to achieve positive outcomes from the use of medications which improves patient’s quality of life with minimum risk. 

According to WHO there are at least 2.6 million pharmacist and other pharmaceutical persons worldwide. Historical record reveals the first pharmacist found in subcontinent, when Sheikh Nabi Bukhsh in Gujarat started a general store in pharmacy in 1863. Sheikh was first Asian and the only Pakistani to be presented with the Donald E Francke medal awarded by American Society of Health system Pharmacist (ASHP).

Mortar and pestle are one of internationally recognized symbol to represent pharmacy profession. As designed in 2009 by the FIP Council in Istanbul, Turkey, 25 September marks the annual world pharmacist day. The theme of world pharmacist day emphasizes, that pharmacist are trusted source of knowledge and advice, not only for patients but for other health care professionals.

Pharmacist achieved title ‘profession’ as a reward after serving humanity and appeared constitutive within health care system epitomized as, the pillar supports the building similarly pharmacist uprights the medicine standard therefore medicine in future will give everyone the ability to become their own best healer.

If we practiced medicine like we practice education, we would look for the liver on right side and left side in alternate years. Wherever the art of medicine is loved, there is love of humanity. Balochistan is an arid, desert and mountainous region of one of four provinces of Pakistan in terms of land area of 347,190km2 , but is least populated 12.34 million (2017) southwestern region of the country. Its capital and largest city is Quetta.

University of Balochistan is public university located in downtown area of Quetta. It was established in June 1970 through an ordinance issued by Governor of Balochistan. In June 1996 the provincial assembly of Balochistan passed University of Balochistan act 1996, thus the university became the sole general university of province, imparting higher education in arts, science, commerce and humanities. 

The university initially started with three departments, Physics, Chemistry and geology in 1971, now it has 46 departments.

Department of pharmacy was established in 1980. Due to high demands of its graduates; it is one of most sought after discipline. It is very well staffed and equipped. Owing to its high standards, it is recognized by Pakistan Council of Pharmacy.

Pharmacy is health profession that works as bridge between health science and chemical science, thus fortifies save use of medications. The consequences of pharmacy profession and role of pharmacist in elevating health care system have been well established and admitted all over the world. Pharmacy profession is familiar as ’’Life Saving Profession’’. 

The major emphasis of WHO in developing countries is to provide elicit and economical means for betterment of health. Undertaking this aristocratic function is not possible without employment of pharmacist in health care system because they are only ones who acquainted with drugs and related substances.

As ‘’Medicine is a science of uncertainty and an art of probability’’ nevertheless Balochistan which has stringent standards and highly equipped but facing a breach between physician and patient due to undeployment of pharmacist which is producing muddle in health care system. Deployment of pharmacist could be penny pinching for patient, numinous for physicians and provident for health care system.

Senior vice president of PPA Syed Khalid Saeed Bukhari (Sep 25, 2014) stated and quoted statistics from a latest report, he said presently 25,000 pharmacists were struggling for government jobs all over Pakistan. Of them, 15,000 were available in Punjab, 5,000 were in Sindh, 3,000 in KPK and 2,000 in Balochistan. 

He regretted that only 560 pharmacists were at Punjab government strength and 550 at disposal of Balochistan government. Situation in Sindh and KPK was more pathetic which is disregarding to rules internationally followed.

Access to pharmacist is access to health, though they are internationally known as drug scientists. Quoting a survey report, Pakistan is second after Egypt with regard to drug overuse and unsafe injection practice.

In a survey by provincial health directorate (2018) in Balochistan, there are 132 hospitals, 574 dispensaries, 93 maternity and child welfare centers located and total bed in hospital and dispensaries are 7747. In Balochistan there is single provincial hospital named as “ Sandeman provincial hospital Quetta”, which contains more than 800 beds and pharmacists serving presently are 48 in numbers. Patients from other districts visit but deficit of pharmacist not only effects health care but also degrade international rule which quotes one pharmacist for 10 beds. This situation is regretted for more than 32 pharmacists. 

Another government hospital, Bolan Medical Complex accommodates more than 1000 beds and working pharmacists are 50 in number, repentant for more than 50 pharmacists. For amelioration of health, hospital pharmacist should staff 24/7 hours by employing them in morning and evening shifts. This pleasing initiative will reduce unemployment and also work for betterment of health.

Assessment by pharmacist could convert disease into ease and every single insinuation is feasible by deployment of pharmacist utmost, implementation of house job for fresh graduates so that they might be able to amplify their professional skills as a beautiful quota ‘’ as in the hands of wise, poison is medicine and in the hands of fool, medicine is poison.’’

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