Students studying at the Government College of Pharmacy (Aurangabad) have been on a hunger strike since January 01. The main concern of the students is that they do not get jobs after finishing this course. So far, the government hospital authorities have not come forward to speak with them.
The key demands of the Pharma. D students are as follows:
- To create Clinical Pharmacist post in government hospitals.
- To start monthly stipend for the interns
- Appoint full-time teachers for the Pharma. D course.
- Register the Pharma D. degree as a legitimate degree with the Medical Council of India.
The Pharma D. course was introduced as postgraduate course by the Pharmacy Council of India in 2008. In 2012, Aurangabad and Amravati’s government medical colleges started this course. It has been six years, but syllabus hasn’t been decided upon. That is why, the future of these students is in trouble.
The students wrote letters to the government, the health ministry, their principal, yet they did not receive any response. The students have gone on a hunger strike to protest against the inaction taken by the authorities. Around 160 students have participated in this strike. They have been on a hunger strike since four days. They have been protesting outside Aurangabad’s regional commissioner’s office.
While speaking to My Medical Mantra, Pharmacy College’s Professor Sachin Gadekar, stated, “Around 300 students are studying the Pharma D. at the government pharmacy college’s in Amravati and Aurangabad. In India there are 243 pharma colleges in total, wherein around 42,000 students are currently studying the Pharma D. course. Students do not get a job even after studying this course. That is why their future looks bleak.”
He added, “Time and again students also wrote a letter to the government to decide upon a uniformed syllabus, but nothing materialised. This is the fifth day of the strike, we have also written letters to the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) and the central health department, but we still haven’t received a response. We will continue our strike until our demands are not met with.”
Maharashtra Pharmacy Council President and Pharmacy Council of India member, Vijay Patil, said, “After graduating, pharmacy students start working as employees in medical stores. They give prescriptions based on what the doctors have written, but students who have learnt through the Pharma. D course are aware about medications need to be provided based on the symptoms of this illness, such students possess this additional knowledge. I have written a letter to the Medical Council of India to fulfil the demand put forth by the students.”
“The government and primary health centres should start a clinical pharmacist course so that they can work.”
Kailash Tandel, President of the Maharashtra Registered Pharmacist Association said, “If the government cannot provide education and employment to the students, then the government should discontinue this course.”