PHARMACIST-PATIENT ratio in the country currently stands at 1:13,000, above the World Health Organisation’s recommended ratio of 1:2,000.
That is a worrying development for a nation striving to achieve universal access to quality healthcare and sustainable health insurance scheme, Mr Thomas Boateng Appiagyei, President of the Pharmaceutical Society of Ghana (PSGH), has said.
Speaking at this year’s celebration of World Pharmacists Day in Accra, Mr Appiagyei said the long history, in the annals of the nation, pointed to the valuable contribution Ghanaian pharmacies and pharmacists had made to national development.
“Not content to rest on past laurels though, at this significant time, the PSGH is more determined than ever before to collectively join hands with all stakeholders to give our nation and our noble profession its rightful place in the health delivery system,” he said.
The theme for the celebration was, ‘Pharmacists: Your partner in health, and Mr Appiagyei said the theme could not have come at a better time as it coincided with the 80th anniversary of the establishment of PSGH.
He urged Ghanaians to make maximum use of their pharmacists and pharmacies.
He said medicines needed to go hand in hand with pharmaceutical expertise, an essential partnership for responsible use of medicines.
He said the unique expertise and in-depth knowledge of medicines and general health has made pharmacists counselors, teachers and a readily-available source of a wide range of information on health and medicines.
Mr Appiagyei said the PSGH was, however, worried about the protracted stand-off between its members on the Government and Hospital Practice (GHOSPA) and the Fair Wages and Salaries Commission over the proper placement on the Single Spine Salary Structure after nearly five years of its implementation.
“It is an unfortunate and sad commentary on our national recognition for the critical role and need for pharmacists both in the public and private sector. I call on government to ensure a swift resolution of this matter.
“The PSGH is willing and ready to partner the NHIS to ensure the growth and sustainability of the NHIS. Our commitment to this cause has not wavered as medicines and its cost remains a central feature of the scheme.
“We look forward to deepened ties and to renewing our efforts to support the National Health Insurance Authority in its quest to provide universal health care to the citizenry,” he said.
As part of the celebration, the PSGH mounted an adherence counselling clinic to educate the public on what they do beyond what is known to the public, as well as advise patients concerning their medications.
PSGH would also mount public awareness clinics on Saturday, September 26, at all the three malls in Accra, namely, West Hill Mall, Accra Mall and Junction Mall from 10 a.m to 4 p.m.
The celebration would be climaxed with talks at various churches across the country on Sunday, September 27, 2015.