A restructuring of the local pharmaceutical sector is imminent with a view of outlining recommendations that can position it for an expanded role. At least this is according to Director of Pharmacy within the Ministry of Public Health, Mr. Oneil Atkins.
Atkins revealed recently that “There is currently active lobbying to expand the role of all pharmacy practitioners.” However, legislation and regulations must be changed to accommodate this anticipated expanded vision for the sector.
The Pharmacy Director, however, noted that once the necessary changes are made, the new structure will lend to visibility, accountability and transparency in the pharmaceutical sector.
Under the restructuring plan, there will be 10 Regional Pharmacists – one in each Administrative Region – who will supervise Pharmacists and their Assistants. According to Atkins too, a Senior Pharmacist will also be added to the new organisation structure to buttress the current Director and Deputy Director positions.
Those with the authority to back changes in the pharmaceutical sector are also in dialogue to have specialisation in various clinical areas which includes: Critical Care, Emergency Care, Oncology and Patient Care, Atkins revealed.
Atkins comments on the restructuring of the sector came even as he spoke of plans to observe Pharmacy Week, which commences today.
During his deliberation, the Pharmacy Director also turned his attention to the fact that the Public Health Ministry is also in continuous dialogue with the authorities for an improved package for pharmacists and their assistants.
Added to this, the Pharmacy Director said the Georgetown Public Hospital cooperation (GPHC), the MOPH and the Pharmacy Council have ratified a Memorandums of Understanding (MOU) for pharmacy graduates to undertake internship stints at the tertiary health institution to make them “work-ready”.
The proposed changes outlined by Atkins forms part of a wider sector vision by the Public Health Ministry to help ensure access to and responsible use of quality medicines without which, the local health sector will lose its ability to meet the healthcare needs of the 700,000-odd Guyanese population dependent on the system.
Globally, pharmacists have traditionally been known, almost exclusively, for their reliability. However, in recent years, their drug therapy management services have been gaining recognition through the valuable information they provide patients, enabling them to help improve their lives.
Around the world though, these professionals are growing increasingly worried about the extent of self-medication among the sick and are therefore appealing to patients to show a bit more reverence for them and their profession.