Saturday, November 15, 2008

Teaching boycott planned

From the Montreal Gazette:
Quebec pharmacists frustrated by a serious staffing shortage held a special meeting yesterday to vote on a series of pressure tactics they promise will not affect patients.

The shortage is expected to worsen, which means patients will suffer, warned Linda Vaillant, executive director of the Association des pharmaciens des établissements de santé du Québec.

"We may not be able to give chemotherapy to patients and we don't want to get there," Vaillant said.

About 1,200 pharmacists work in Quebec hospitals and other health-care establishments. But hospitals need another 200 pharmacists to properly serve patients, Vaillant said.

Hospital pharmacists regularly work 45-hour weeks, often covering 12 days in a row, she said.

"The pharmacist is like the goalie in hockey. He has to make sure to stop the puck, to catch the error, the drug interactions, and adjust the dose. There's potential for increased medical error because of the intensity of the workload," she said. ...more

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