LAHORE - The World Health Organisation (WHO) has set a standard of one pharmacist for 15 beds each in any hospital to provide proper healthcare to patients. Despite issuance of a notification by the Punjab government in October 2012 to fill all vacant posts of pharmacists, only in Lahore city many posts of pharmacists are lying vacant.

This was disclosed by a source associated with health sector here on Sunday.        Some years back, the WHO standard for pharmacists was one pharmacist for 50 beds, but due to sharp increase in population and consequently patient burden on hospitals, the WHO had to revise the standard and now one pharmacist was needed to cater healthcare to 15 patients.

Due to vacant posts and inactive role of pharmacists in subscription of medicines for patients in the local healthcare system, the multinational companies dominate through their influence.

The country’s aelophathic medicines market consists of around $12 billion per annum in which 38 per cent shareholders are multinational companies. Around 5,000 pharmacists pass out every year and over 18,000 pharmacists are unemployed including 7,000 in Punjab while most posts of pharmacists are lying vacant in hospitals.