Slow service in pharmacies
It’s annoying, isn’t it? It can take an hour – sometimes more – to get served in a pharmacy, especially in Tórshavn.
The reason is simple: pharmacies are experiencing a severe staff shortage.
“The long waiting times we have been seeing over the past year are to a large extent the result of pharmacy workers leaving their jobs or taking time off from work due to stress,” says Ann-Mari Grønbæk, chairwoman of the Danish trade union that represents Faroese pharmacists.
“A poll among our members indicates that almost half of all pharmacists experience stress on a daily basis in their jobs, and that’s obviously something that many find hard to endure.”
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She adds that a growing number of pharmacists are starting to look elsewhere for jobs because they find they can earn more working in unskilled jobs which involve much less stress.
This view is echoed by Katy við Skipá, a pharmacist at Tórshavn’s Tjaldurs Apotek.
“A pharmacist’s job extends well beyond simply dispensing medication. We also offer advice to customers on how to use medicines and inform them about possible side effects and potentially harmful drug interactions,” she explains.
Overworked and underpaid
“This is a wonderful profession. But we take on a great deal of responsibility in our job, and the salary simply does not match the workload and the responsibility.”
On top of this comes the task of training new staff, which also involves a great deal of responsibility, she adds.
So yes, it's annoying for us customers. But perhaps we should spare a thought for the pharmacists, who make potentially life-altering medical decisions every day under great pressure.
Read the Faroese version of this article here.
Translated by prosa.fo.
More Faroese News in English.