Pharmacists have been cautioned against displaying their licenses in facilities and leaving them in the care of unauthorized persons while working elsewhere.
The Pharmacy Council and the Pharmaceutical Society of Ghana (PSGH) describe the practice as unacceptable and have, therefore, advised members against such practices.
At an induction ceremony for 625 newly qualified and registered pharmacists in Accra yesterday, the President of the PSGH, Samuel Kow Donkor, said it was by law established that whenever classes “A” and “B” medicines – prescription only and pharmacist only– were requested, a pharmacist must be available to oversee its dispensation.
“The Pharmacy Council and the PSGH, therefore, frowns on pharmacists who hang their licenses in facilities and work in absentia without making arrangements for other pharmacists to stand in,” he said.
The event was on the theme: “Digital health interventions in pharmaceutical care delivery- the role of the pharmacist”.
Pharm Kow Donkor said the new pharmacists were being inducted at a time the practice was shifting from product-centred to a more patient-centred position.
“Pharmaceutical care is our obligation and ultimately, we want to deliver the best of it to our clients or patients.
Whichever area you choose to practise, always remember that the ultimate beneficiary of your professional duties is the patient,” he said. The president urged them to improve upon their competencies, knowledge and abilities, especially in new medications, devices and technology to remain relevant at all times in an ever-changing profession and world.
The newly inducted members taking the oath of allegiance
In a speech read on his behalf, the Minister of Health, Kwaku Agyeman-Manu, said pharmacists must reflect on the critical role they played in healthcare delivery and ensure that their roles were in tune with contemporary technological advancement.
“The vision of the government is to ensure that all government business processes are digitalised to ensure that the public is able to access government business without any hindrance,” he added.
The Chairperson of the Governing Board of the Council, Doris Fosu-Hemaa Addae-Afoakwa, also urged them to use technology in their practice to enhance service delivery and ensure that they remain relevant at all times.
Adherence to standards
The Registrar of the Pharmacy Council, Dr Audu Rauf, called on members to adhere strictly to the highest standards of the profession.
“COVID-19 has highlighted the importance of digital health technologies and has accelerated their adoption and development.
“Digital health technologies have shown that they can improve healthcare access, efficiency and quality, including cost reduction,” he said.
According to him, digitalisation of pharmacy practice would also enhance access to pharmaceutical services and health care, improve efficiency and quality of care delivery, and eventually improve patient outcomes.
“We have launched an E-pharmacy platform to provide safe and effective policy guidelines and regulatory framework to ensure adherence to quality standards,” he added.
The US Agency for International Development (USAID)’s Mission Director, Kimberly Rosen’s, said the pharmaceutical industry was the backbone of a strong healthcare system.
He said the USAID was committed to working with other stakeholders to strengthen the country’s healthcare system.
Story by – Doreen Andoh, firstname.lastname@example.org