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Pharmacists welcome extra funding for trainees

Pharmacists welcome extra funding for trainees

The Pharmaceutical Society has welcomed the injection of funding from district health boards to ensure pharmacists can afford to take on student pharmacists in their final year of training.

District health boards have agreed to pay $2,000 to pharmacists for each training place they provide, doubling the total government funding for each intern placement to $4,000. The extra funding is a one-off payment for 2004.

Pharmaceutical Society Chief Executive and Registrar Joan Baas said district health boards had acted promptly to avert a looming crisis for students unable to find placements for their 2004 intern year.

She said the crisis had come about as a result of the Government’s decision to adopt three-month bulk dispensing of medicines, which came into effect this month.

“Many pharmacists are going to struggle to survive under the new system and, with this level of uncertainty, they felt unable to take on trainees. We hope that this funding will make the difference and enable a greater number of pharmacists to employ trainees in 2004.”

To date 108 of 170 students have secured placements with pharmacies for 2004. Pharmacy students must complete a year’s training in a pharmacy, following their four-year degree, before they can register as pharmacists.

“We hope that for 2004 at least students will not be forced to try and complete their training in Australia. It is essential that pharmacy graduates can look forward to a future in New Zealand and taxpayers can reap the benefit from the millions of dollars spent on their under-graduate training.”

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