There have been 30 resignations of pharmacists at the Canberra Hospital since January 1 last year, as the government concedes there is a high churn rate of staff in the department that is "not optimal".
Government figures released in response to a question on notice from opposition health spokeswoman Vicki Dunne show the staff turnover rate in the pharmacy department between January 1, 2017 and June 30 this year sits at 32 per cent.
The answers from Health Minister Meegan Fitzharris said 27 appointments have been made since January 2017, six of whom have subsequently resigned.
She said feedback from staff indicated concerns about income security, a perceived lack of career progression and sufficient supervision.
Ms Fitzharris said the turnover rate was considered "high" and "not optimal".
Mrs Dunne accused the government of harbouring conditions that are driving staff away.
“Hospital staff are concerned about pay and working conditions, and they feel like they don’t have the support they need," she said.
“When the Health Minister fails to support our hospital staff, she is also failing to support our patients who need their services.
“It’s not fair for our hospital staff who work long hours and it’s not fair for Canberrans who are paying more and more for health services but are getting less and less.
“Ms Fitzharris seriously needs to bring her attention back to the people she is supposed to serve, and quickly improve conditions for pharmacy staff."
An ACT Health spokeswoman said it was committed to undertaking a review of the health professionals structures, including pharmacists, as a priority.
"ACT Health is constantly looking at different workforce strategies to ensure we are in the best position to recruit and to attract and retain staff," she said.
"The proposed changes to the enterprise agreement, which will clarify the pay rates for pharmacists and the review of the health professional structure, will ensure that ACT Health is in a better position to attract and retain pharmacists.
"ACT Health continues to discuss these matters with Professionals Australia and other relevant staff representatives, both through the enterprise bargaining process and establishment of workplace consultative committees."
The union representing pharmacists, Professionals Australia, last month sounded the alarm at the poor pay and conditions leading to shortages in the department.
ACT director Dale Beasley said it was only a matter of time before serious mistakes impacting patients were made.
“Hospital pharmacists are underpaid and not given the recognition they deserve and it means we’re bleeding staff to the Commonwealth and other jurisdictions every week," he said.
"Some members have even left with no job to go to at all, such is the stress they are operating under."