IFGH 2012: Towards the Improvement of the Loss of Pharmacy Technicians from the Public Health System in Thailand

January 30, 2012

Authors:Soonthorn S.1, Wongsawat P.2, Thongkij N.3 , Phokum B.4

Author Affiliations:1Department of Pharmaceutical Technology, Sirindhorn College of Public Health Suphanburi, Thailand, 2: Faculty of Public Health, Naresuan University, Phitsanuloke, Thailand, 3Department of Pharmaceutical Technology, Sirindhorn College of Public Health Phitsaniloke, Thailand, 4Department of Pharmaceutical Technology, Sirindhorn College of Public Health Chonburi, Thailand

Option 2– Lessons from the field; project and programme evaluations; and syntheses or analyses Presented as – Poster

Introduction:

The study aimed at exploring the background of the advanced vocational curriculum management for pharmacy technicians (PTs) among nine institutions under the Ministry of Public Health (MOPH)’s supervision. In addition, this study also focused on situations of PTs’ loss and gain in public hospitals and measured the level of routine job satisfaction among PTs.

Method:

A semi-structured interview was applied to 20 stakeholders for the background of the curriculum. PTs’ loss and gain data were retrospectively collected from public hospitals between 2008 and 2010, while job satisfaction was measured using a self-administered questionnaire with PTs.

Results:

Numbers of PTs remaining in the MOPH’s health system in 2008, 2009 and 2010 were +203, +124 and +230, respectively. The plus numbers denoted that the gain of PTs to the MOPH’s health system was more than the loss. The gain was principally caused by the acceptance of newly graduated PTs to work as novice civil servants (57.3%), while the loss mainly included resignation (40.6%) and transferring to other jobs (10.4%). For the preference of routine jobs, PTs described that medicines preparation (45.5%) and stock management (32.6%) were their most preferred jobs in a pharmacy department, while consumer protection (1.6%) and clinical pharmacy (0.2%) were amongst the least favourable jobs. PTs were also satisfied with stock management, Thai traditional medicines and medicines production, with satisfaction mean scores at 3.7, 3.2 and 3.0 from 5, respectively.

Conclusion:

Findings suggested that almost all PTs graduated from SCPHs remained in the MOPH’s health system. Qualitative data also reported that PT’s curriculum management below a bachelor degree, the limitation of growth in career paths and the overlapped job description with a pharmacist could affect PTs’ motivations to work and thus influenced the loss of PTs from the Thai health system in the future.

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