On the 24th of August 2022, the Pharmaceutical Society of Ghana (PSGH) issued a Press Statement on Matters Arising in Relation to the Unbearable Delay of Payment of Salaries of Pharmacists House Officers. Below are the details of the Press Statement.

Ladies and gentlemen, citizens and people of Ghana and the media present, you are welcome.  The Pharmaceutical Society of Ghana (PSGH) is the legally recognised professional body of all pharmacists practicing in Ghana. We are here to share with you some information about the processes that are taking place so that payment of due salaries of our pharmacists’ house officers are resolved, some misinformation are cleared up and repeat delays in the future are avoided as they serve their mandatory housemanship.

  1. Pharmacists House officers are full members of the Pharmaceutical Society of Ghana and pharmacists by Ghanaian law.
  2. The Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm D) Class of 2021 in their 6th year had six (6) clinical rotations namely; maternal health, accident and emergency, internal medicine, child health, surgery and an elective which could be HIV, mental health, oncology or ENT in various regional and teaching hospitals across the country. Afterwards they wrote their final university exams and graduated from the university
  3. Thereafter the PharmD class of 2021 wrote the Ghana Pharmacy Professional Qualifying Examination (GPPQE) organized by the Pharmacy Council, the regulator, in December 2021. Those candidates including foreign students trained in Ghana who passed the licensure exams were given registration numbers and put on a provisional register to practice Pharmacy in Ghana.
  4. It is important to note that on the day of their induction,16th February 2022, these Pharmacists swore the Oath of Practice called the Apothecary’s Oath which was administered by the Chairperson of the Governing Board of the Pharmacy Council. The Pharmacy Council posted the newly qualified pharmacists to various accredited hospitals in Ghana to begin the 2022/2023 mandatory housemanship from 24th January 2022 to 24th January 2023.
  5. The Pharmacy Council’s mandate is to ensure that the highest standards and quality of pharmaceutical care is achieved in Ghana and therefore monitors their housemanship for compliance with regards to knowledge, skills and professional attitude in the workspace during this period. After their successful compliance of six{6} log books, they are migrated to the permanent register of pharmacists in Ghana with a permanent professional license number
  6. Today, 24th August 2022 marks seven (7) months of work by Pharmacists house officers across the country since they were posted by the Pharmacy Council. Compared to last year where appointment letters were given after 2-3 months of work and payments received by the 5th month. This year the House Officers have neither been given appointment letters by the Ministry of Health (MOH) nor via their user agencies since receiving their posting letters from the Pharmacy Council. The MOH has not been able to do so because there has not been any financial clearance given by the Ministry of Finance, hence no salaries have been paid to date for the past 7 months. The peculiarity of this case is the absence of appointment letters that guarantee payment.
  7. The PSGH calls on the Ministry of Finance to give directed attention to ensure that financial clearance is achieved for the 203 house officers who are performing morning, afternoon and night duties in various hospitals across the country. The PSGH also calls on our house officers to rescind their decision to withdraw their services on 29th August as we continue to work on their behalf and engage all relevant stakeholders for an amicable resolution. Until they complete their mandatory 12-month period of housemanship, they cannot be employed by the government in the public sector or superintend Community Pharmacies in the private sector. For some house officers, it is not even about going on strike due to delay of salary payments but they have literally run out of money for transportation to go to work and come back to their rented rooms. We, therefore, appeal to the Ministry of Finance to give this issue the urgent attention and intervention it deserves.
  8. We request the Registrar of the Pharmacy Council, the Honorable Minister of Health and the Honorable Minister of Finance and Economic Planning to ensure that during the 2023/2024 housemanship period, this undue delay in payment of house officers does not recur by ensuring swift processes that are in sync with the Ministry of Finance. This will ensure that the appropriate budget for the cadre of pharmacists house officers who must undergo a mandatory 12-month Housemanship in order to be placed on the permanent register of pharmacists in the country is achieved.

While PSGH dialogues with the Ministry of Health and Ministry of Finance to resolve the current situation, we expect all stakeholders to present the estimated numbers of house officers to be budgeted for in the  2023/2024 housemanship period to the MOH for onward submission to the  Ministry of Finance by the end of this month. This will ensure that their salary allocation can be captured in the 2023 national budget.

Thank you
Amicus Humani Generis
(Friend of the Human Race)
Pharm. Samuel Kow Donkoh,
Pharmaceutical Society of Ghana (PSGH)