Crescent Kashmir

Don’t ruin careers of over 20,000 medical assistants: Altaf Bukhari

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Jammu and Kashmir Apni Party (JKAP) President Syed Mohammad Altaf Bukhari on Friday urged the union government to safeguard the careers of over 20,000 medical assistants of J&K by bringing them within the ambit of Central Pharmacy Act.

In a statement issued to KNS, Bukhari said that the medical assistants of Jammu and Kashmir also fulfill the eligibility criteria for availing a pharmacy license or applying for any government job exclusively meant for diploma or degree holders in pharmacy.

“Around 20,000 medical assistants in J&K are well trained in pharmacy who were eligible for pharmacy licenses under JK Pharmacy Act prior to August 4, 2019 but have now unfortunately been excluded by the pharmacy council of India. This is a sheer discrimination with this bright and promising lot of professionals,” Bukhari questioned.

He said that there seems to be no rationale behind exclusion of medical assistants from Central Pharmacy law which was made applicable to Jammu and Kashmir after October 2019. “Discrimination with medical assistants who have completed their three years courses (including one year of training) duly recognized under JK Pharmacy Act is unjustifiable and the issue needs to be addressed on a priority basis,” Bukhari advocated.

He said that by widening the ambit of Central Pharmacy Act and making it genuinely inclusive shall dispel the notion of unfairness and injustice felt by the J&K youth. “The candidates from J&K had opted for medical assistant courses conscientiously to make careers in pharmacy after completion of their courses successfully. However, the replacement of the JK pharmacy act with central pharmacy law has shattered their dreams of earning a dignified livelihood,” Bukhari opined.

The JKAP president said by restricting the issuance of pharmacy licenses to aspirants having B. Pharma and D. Pharma has jeopardized careers of thousands of medical assistants who have studied the same subject with the same syllabus in government recognized institutes across J&K.

Bukhari expressed serious concern over the reports that despite being ineligible for pharmacy licenses and government jobs as per the central pharmacy act, the government colleges in J&K are granting admissions to the students for medical assistant courses. “Even some students are presently pursuing medical assistant courses in various colleges. The government of J&K should come clear on this issue and stop the admissions to such courses which are recognized under central pharmacy law,” he demanded.

Bukhari said the new pharmacy law made applicable to J&K has made the future of thousands of qualified youth bleak. “The government of India should go for a one-time relaxation for those medical assistants who have completed their training prior to August 4, 2019 and chalk out a policy for their absorption in the government sector,” Bukhari said, while demanding necessary amendments to the CPA so as to facilitate inclusion of medical assistant of J&K.

He also urged the union health ministry to consider medical assistants eligible for issuance of pharmacy licenses and ensure lateral entry for those medical assistants who want to pursue their higher studies in pharmacy. (KNS)

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