Upscaling the pharmacy profession in
Lebanon: workforce distribution and key
The critical role that pharmacists play in the health care system necessitate a close monitoring of their supply, distribution and competencies. This is especially relevant considering the global demographic and epidemiological transition, which increased demand for pharmacists to address the needs of individuals and communities. In Lebanon, the pharmacy profession is facing several challenges related to the unplanned supply of pharmacists, the poor regulation of the health system and the need to better protect the professional status of pharmacists.
The aim of the study is to analyze a deidentified subset of the Order of Pharmacists registration database and generate workforce trends in terms of growth in number, distribution across gender, age distribution, geographic location, workforce status, sector of employment, and employment position.
This study entails a detailed database analysis of the pharmacist registration records in Lebanon for years 1960-2018. A descriptive analysis was carried out a on all study variables with some cross tabulations to identify distribution across some key variables.
Results showed that the pharmacy profession in Lebanon is relatively young, and “Community” was the most common employment sector (63%), followed by “Pharmaceutical Sector” (24%) and “Hospitals (5%). Although the analysis revealed that Lebanon has very high pharmacists and pharmacies ratio per 10,000 population (20.3 and 7.4; respectively), the ratio of community pharmacists to pharmacies was very low (1.3). Moreover, Lebanon has modest number of pharmacists working in hospitals. The ratio of hospitals pharmacist was 1.9 per hospital and 1.7 per 100 hospital beds.
In conclusion, this study offered a detailed and benchmarked systematic examination of the numbers and distribution of pharmacists in Lebanon. It unearthed several opportunities and concerns related to regulating the supply, distribution, regulation and the professional scope of practice of pharmacists in Lebanon. This will not only improve the professional status of pharmacists in Lebanon but will also enhance the safety and efficiency of access of pharmaceutical services in the country.
Mohamad Ali Mustafa Hijazi
Human Resources for Health,DOI: https://doi.org/10.1186/s12960-019-0386-0, ISSN: 12960-019-0386-0, Volume: 17, Issue: 47, Pages Range: 1-9,