Last Updated on October 27, 2020 by The Health Master
Pharmacists working in the healthcare institutions of the defense sector in the country have apprised the Union health minister that government level intervention is urgently required in the matter of Diploma in Pharmacy course as to whether it should be retained in the present structure of two year course or abolished in a phased manner.
When all other countries in the world, including the close neighbours Pakistan and Bangladesh, have stipulated in their regulations that degree in pharmacy is the basic qualification for pharmacists, the Pharmacy Council of India (PCI) has once again confirmed and laid down the rule through its Education Regulations 2020 that D Pharm course will continue as the minimum eligible qualification for registering as a pharmacist in India.
On behalf of the government pharmacy professionals in the country, the All India Defence Pharmacists Association (AIDPA) has urged the union health minister Dr Harsh Vardhan that the government should direct the PCI for either to make the present two year diploma course (10+2+2+training) to a three year diploma program like other technical diploma courses or abolish it and make degree in pharmacy (B Pharm) as the minimum qualification.
AIDPA finds that because of the two year diploma qualification the government pharmacists are losing many benefits and getting appointed on a low pay band. Government has raised the recruitment criteria for the other paramedical staff like radiographers and lab technicians into degree level, only pharmacists are still the diploma holders.
P Harishankar, president of the AIDPA said the technical diploma holders in government services are getting an initial grade pay of Rs. 4,200, who are having an educational background of 10+3 year diploma. Whereas a diploma pharmacist has the educational qualification of 10+2+2+three months training, but he is getting an initial grade pay of Rs. 2,800 only. The reason for the shortfall is that for getting the initial grade pay of Rs. 4,200 the government wants either a three year diploma or a degree as the basic qualification.
Harishankar said if PCI upgrades the qualification of pharmacists to degree level or changes the structure of the current diploma course to a three year one, it will suffice for commensurating with the pay scales of other paramedical staff. Actually the pharmacists’ qualification is one year more than the other 10+3 diploma holders, but they are earning more benefits than the pharmacists.