Pharmacists from the National Health Service (SNS) will be on strike from the 28th, for six days, demanding the completion of the pharmaceutical residency, opening a competition for career advancement and review of the salary status.
Speaking to Lusa news agency, the president of the National Union of Pharmacists (SNF), Henrique Reguengo, who called for the strike, said that this will be “the first strike that the union has called in 20 years”, stressing that “no other class has given up as much as pharmacists, always hoping that the future would be better”.
“If there are professionals for whom the strike is really the last resort, it is for the pharmacists,” he added.
With this strike, which starts at 00:00 on October 28th and ends at 00:00 on November 2nd, pharmacists intend to demand the timely completion of the pharmaceutical residency (pre-career training), opening of competitions for career advancement, the negotiation of the diploma of the directions and coordination of the services and the revision and updating of the remuneration statute in view of the academic and professional qualifications of this class.
“This strike is the result of the desperation of the pharmacists (…). All our attempts had no feedback” from the tutelage, said Henrique Reguengo, stressing that “there are serious problems that have to be addressed”.
“The career was already published four years ago, an absurd delay in the implementation of the pharmaceutical career, which is the mechanism through which we are going to train specialists to feed the career. We have a huge shortage of specialists, which has not been noticed now in the pandemic because people they gave the liter and so there was no lack of medication or clinical analysis in the NHS”, explained the union leader.
In a statement, the union says that “pharmacists have already given in everything that was possible for a better future”, exemplifying: “They gave in when they accepted a career where they were forced to have a budget neutrality that was not imposed on any other career of the Ministry of Health” and “when the base value of the career was not neutral, but lower than what they had in the career they came from”.
“They gave in when the transitions imposed on them did not respect seniority and threw colleagues with 20 and 30 years of service (some Service Directors) into the same category of colleagues with one and two years of service, instead of doing it according to with the SNF proposal, which, while maintaining budget neutrality, respected that seniority”, he adds.
The union structure also defends that the concessions of these professionals are visible “when they continue to perform their functions exemplarily in pharmaceutical services, in clinical analysis laboratories and human genetics, while they see all the deadlines and promises made to them being ignored and disrespected “.
The SNF also recalls that the pharmaceutical human resources in the NHS, whether in the Hospital Pharmacy, or in Clinical Analysis and Human Genetics, “are dramatically undersized and physically and emotionally exhausted”.
He explains that he has reacted “with tolerance” given the transition period that results from the implementation process of the pharmaceutical residency, which, he argues, “should be swift”, but stresses that, four years after the publication of his career and a year and a half on the regulation of pharmaceutical residency, the last forecast for opening the first residency is for 2023.
“How to explain and accept 13 years without any competitions for progression and that after four years of the publication of the pharmaceutical career and almost three years of the publication of the diploma that regulates these progressions, this is the only career in which this happens, bearing in mind that we are innumerable open competitions for other health professionals?”, he asks.
In the statement, giving as an example the other professions in the health area, the SNF also points out the “lack of adequacy of the remuneration table of pharmacists”.
Pharmacists are also said to be “deeply disgusted and indignant at the lack of consideration and systematic belittling of their role in the NHS”.
They point to precariousness and lack of job stability, poor working conditions in pharmaceutical services, insufficient staff, lack of conditions to “comply with good medicine practices, compromising the safety of the integrated circuit of medicine and pharmaceutical products” , as well as the delay in applying the SIADAP in the career assessment.
The strike, which begins Oct. 28 and has enacted minimum services, covers all pharmacists working in the NHS — hospital pharmacy, laboratories and human genetics.
Source: Renascença – Noticias by rr.sapo.pt.
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