Plea to appoint 2,000 pharmacists at Amma mini clinics dismissed

The Madras High Court on Wednesday dismissed a writ petition which sought a direction to the State government to appoint 2,000 pharmacists for the Amma mini clinics that the government had planned to open across the State.

Justice S. Vaidyanathan rejected the plea after Advocate General Vijay Narayan said there was absolutely no need to employ pharmacists since the doctors themselves would be dispensing medicines to patients at the mini clinics.

According to the A-G, the mini clinics had been planned in villages that do not have primary healthcare centres. The clinics would be situated in small buildings of 200 sq ft with just three personnel — a doctor, a nurse and a hospital worker.

The hospital worker would be dressing the wounds and the clinics were expected to cater to only about 20 to 30 patients a day. He said the writ petitioners, S. Vasanth Kumar and D. Karthik, office-bearers of the Tamil Nadu Registered Pharmacists Association, were under a wrong impression.

Allaying their apprehension that nurses might dispense medicines to the patients at the mini clinics, the A-G said only the doctors would be doing so.

He asserted that failure to employ pharmacists at mini clinics would in no way violate Section 42 of the Pharmacy Act of 1948, which states that no person other than a registered pharmacist can dispense medicines on the prescription of a medical practitioner.

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