GEORGE TOWN: The healthcare sector needs another 300 pharmacy assistants throughout the country, as new health clinics and hospitals are built and existing ones upgraded.
There are currently 3,000 pharmacy assistants in the world.
Speaking at the opening of the National Union of Government Pharmacy Assistants 2007 annual meeting here, Lee said the profession was still relevant in the provision of health care and treatment.
He urged those in the profession to continue working hard and be committed to their job.
Lee also said he would look into allegations that students who had acquired their diplomas in a pharmacy assistant course from Kolej Kesihatan Bersekutu in Sungai Buloh, could not use the qualification to further their studies in pharmaceutical sciences.
Malaysia Pharmacy Assistants Association president Kamaruddin Abdul Rahim said the students were told that they required the Sijil Tinggi Pelajaran Malaysia (STPM) to study for a degree in pharmaceutical sciences in other colleges and universities.
He said other tertiary institutions had similar curriculums but allowed students to continue their studies in pharmaceutical sciences without the STPM certificate.
"The diplomas acquired by students from tertiary institutions such as Kolej Diraja Perak and Universiti Teknologi Mara enabled them to continue their studies towards a degree in pharmaceutical sciences.
"I do not know why the diploma from the college in Sungai Buloh is not recognised.