The maiden Ghana Pharmacy Technician Qualifying Examination (GPTQE)took off in Accra yesterday with more than 423 candidates taking part.
This follows the Pharmacy Council’s new licensing regime for all technicians seeking to practice in Ghana.
As part of the new regime, prospective practitioners were all expected to sit for the GPTQE after which they would be licenced to practice.
The examination forms part of the council’s effort at ensuring standards as well as streamlining activities of Pharmacy Technicians in the country.
It is also to sanitise the pharmacy technician space and weed out unqualified individuals out of the practice to derive efficiency.
Speaking to the Ghanaian Times after a tour of the examination centres in Accra yesterday, the registrar of the council, MrAwuduRauf expressed satisfaction with the conduct of the maiden edition of the GPTQE.
He said about 423 candidates were taking part in the maiden edition of the examination and all those who proved successful would be licenced to practice.
MrRauf explained that, there were three different layers of personnel in the area of pharmacy practice in the country whose activities were critical and important for effective healthcare delivery.
This, he said were pharmacy professionals, medicine counter assistant and pharmacy technician.
“For the professional pharmacy and medicine counter assistant, all persons who want to practice within that space are licenced and including pharmacy technician completes the reform processes,” he said.
Mr Rauf explained that for one to qualify to practice as a pharmacy professional in Ghana, one must write the licentiate examination known as the GPPQE.
Similarly, those who practice as medicine counter assistant must undertake the Ghana Medicine Counter Assistant Examinations (GMCAE).
On her part, the Head of Education Training and Reservations at the council, Mrs Cynthia YeboahMintah said the need for pharmacy technicians to write the licensing examination was to help professionalise it.
She explained that like all professional bodies, persons who desired to practice would have to go through a certain training after which they sit for their licensing examination and then licenced to practice.
Mrs Yeboah said hitherto pharmacy technicians were only ‘grandfathered’ by the council through the Kumasi Technical University before being allowed to practice.
However, she said with more than one institution offering a course in pharmacy technician in the country, it had become necessary to try and harmonise their activities through licensing.
She said the 2,480 practitioners who had already been registered and licenced were not to take part of those writing the examination.
BY CLIFF EKUFUL