Government has expressed its commitment to continue engaging the Government Hospitals and Pharmacists Association (GHOSPA), and all labour unions in the health sector to arrive at a mutually negotiated and acceptable conditions of service.
The Deputy Minister for Health, Dr. Victor Asare Bampoe, said this was in line with government’s vision to ensuring universal health coverage for every citizen in all parts of the country.
He was speaking at the opening of the 2015 Annual General Conference of the Pharmaceutical Society of Ghana (PSH) in Accra yesterday.
The three-day conference, which was attended by more than 2,000 pharmacists across the country, was on the theme, “Universal health coverage: achieving assess and responsible use of medicines”.
It is expected to pave way for the pharmacist to assess their performance in the past year as well as deliberate on and address issues confronting their sector.
The conference would at the end elect new executives to steer the affairs of the PSH for the next two years.
Commenting on the theme of the conference, Dr. Bampoe said it was time to boost the health sector to have the capacity to detect adverse health conditions early, treat diseases and provide patients with rehabilitation services.
“There must be access to essential medicines and technologies to diagnose and treat the majority of medical problems in our country and this requires a highly functional supply chain system that must ensure that medical supplies are available when and where needed,” he said.
The deputy minister entreated pharmacists to ensure that people can access medicines and relevant advice about medicines easily.
He suggested that pharmacists empower patients by engaging them in dialogue to enable them to be more compliant in taking medications.
“Information given about drugs is oftentimes inaccurate and incomplete, hence the need for pharmacists to help their clients to become adequately informed through counseling on disease prevention and lifestyle modification,” he said.
Dr. Bampoe asked health workers to accept postings to districts and sub-districts, and endeavour to educate the public on sanitation, nutrition and good eating habits.
Pharmacist James Ohemeng Kyei, out-going president of the PSG, asked government to include pharmacists on the technical committees formed to review the National health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), because medicines form about 52 per cent of the NHIS claims.
The PSG founded in December 1935 by the late Pharmacist William Ayiah Hanson, would be 80 years on December 19, this year.
The society has since its establishment served as the mother body for all pharmacists across the country.
By Linda Naa Deide Aryeetey