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Letter To The Editor

By Pat Kelly - 03rd Feb 2022

A chara,

It is widely acknowledged that pharmacy is experiencing difficulty with recruitment and retention. However, the description of this as a shortage completely overlooks the facts. The PSI has publicly published registers of pharmacies and pharmacists since its reconstitution in 2007. Then there were 4,504, and now there are 6,845.

A large increase by any measure, certainly proportionally larger than the increases in pharmacies (1,628 vs 1,986) and of the country’s population (4.4m vs 5.0m), and large enough to compensate for diversity in career choices and the decline in pharmaceutical assistants (535 vs 254). So when the data doesn’t support the idea of a shortage (and indeed shows the opposite to be the case), why are there such difficulties in recruitment? I think it’s a reflection of a broader morale crisis in the profession, but also a consequence of leaning ever heavier on casual work.

Speaking of a reliance on casual work, 104 pharmacies (at the time of writing, 18/1/22) do not have a supervising pharmacist according to the PSI’s registers, seemingly without any admonishment or any urgency to fill these vacancies. Given the abundance of under-employed pharmacists, I don’t see how this is tolerable or excusable. Mise le meas,

John Madden

MPSI #9602

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