|NA Chairman Nguyen Sinh Hung. — VNA/VNS Photo Phuong Hoa
HA NOI (VNS) — Discussions on whether the national health sector should continue to issue permanent pharmaceutical practice certificates for pharmacists or renew the certificates every five years warmed up the National Assembly Standing Committee's session yesterday on a draft amendment to the Law on Pharmacy.
The administrative procedures would be burdensome if pharmacists had to go to administrative agencies to get their certificates extended every five years, said Deputy Nguyen Van Hien, chairman of the National Assembly (NA)'s Justice Committee.
"I think permanent pharmaceutical practice certificates are more suitable," he said. "If it's worried about pharmacists' qualifications, the health sector could conduct periodic tests."
NA Chairman Nguyen Sinh Hung added that it would be unwise to complicate the process by making pharmacists reapply, since the country was working on simplifying administrative procedures.
However, Hung ordered the health sector to conduct more inspections on the quality of drugs and drug stores to ensure customers have access to the best quality medication possible.
In the meantime, NA Vice Chairman Uong Chu Luu said the Ministry of Health – the agency to compile the draft amendment – needed to provide the deputies more detailed information on the strengths and weaknesses of the two options.
Vice Chairwoman Tong Thi Phong said the question would be submitted to the National Assembly's upcoming session for a final decision.
Deputies also debated a draft resolution on the structure and function of the NA's Ombudsman Committee, a body under the NA Standing Committee that works to protect citizens' rights and resolve civil complaints.
The draft resolution would establish a new department under the Ombudsman Committee to help the committee in processing papers.
Deputy Phan Trung Ly, head of the NA Law Committee, said many in his committee disagreed with the proposal.
"This doesn't fit with our current policy of staff downsizing," he said.
Deputy Nguyen Van Hien, chairman of the NA Justice Committee, said the reasoning behind the establishment was unconvincing.
Concluding the session, NA Vice Chairperson Uong Chu Luu said the NA Standing Committee disapproved of the proposal. — VNS