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Pharmacists protest exorbitant fee levied by Aweil town council

By Hou Akot Hou

Several pharmaceutical shop owners have expressed anger at the exorbitant operational fees being charged by Aweil town council authorities.

Luka Deng Deng, owner of Friendship Medical pharmacy said on Monday that they are already paying license fees to a tune of 354,000 SSP annually to the State Ministry of Health, adding that there is no need to pay another fee for the same.

The town council is demanding pharmacists to pay 116,000 SSP as operation fees.

Deng told Juba Echo in Aweil town that they are seeking for clarity from the state government on the fee being levied by the town council.

“I rent this pharmacy, pay for the cleaners, and also pay for the electricity, this is so expensive,” he said.

Another pharmacist Ajak Ajak Deng said the police stormed his shop last week and closed it for not paying the town council.

“They locked doors with their own locks and still ask us to pay 116,000 SSP. We asked why they are differing from the ministry of health operation license, all we want is for them to merge their operation money with ministry of health,” said Ajak.

Anei Wal Achien, Deputy Town Mayor who also doubles as Director for Planning and Budgeting, said the operation fee being levied on pharmacists is meant to support infrastructure development in the town council.

“This is done world over, there is form 40 and form 15 which pharmacists should adhere to, the ministry of health gives licenses and the operation fees is for them to get acquainted with,” said Achien.

Most patients in the only government health facility in Aweil are often referred to pharmacies for treatment after diagnosis due to shortage of drugs.

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