According to department spokesperson Macks Lesufi, the province is very concerned about the shortage of pharmacists in provincial clinics and hospitals. Lesufi also blamed the shortage of pharmacists for medication shortages, which he said mostly affected rural clinics.
To address the shortage, the department is encouraging youth to think carefully about their futures.
“We are encouraging students to take health, especially pharmacy, as a career so that we can address challenges we are facing in our communities,” Lesufi told OurHealth.
According to Lesufi, more than 100 students recently qualified as pharmacists in the province and 100 more are set to graduate in December.
“We are trying to spread these students around the province but they are not enough,” he added. “The shortage is still very big.”
The department has been providing bursaries for students pursuing degrees in health sciences since 2011, according to Lesufi.