Accra , May 16, GNA – The Pharmacy Council on Wednesday inducted 126 newly qualified and registered pharmacists into the service, to help bridge the gaps in access to health care.
Mr Joseph Nyoagbe, Registrar of Pharmacy Council, inducting the pharmacists said the country would need 1,238 pharmacists to meet health care expectation from the public.
“Currently there are 2,184 pharmacists on our register as at April 30, 2012. This includes pharmacists in the Diaspora. This brings to the ratio one pharmacist to 11,300 people,” he said.
The induction on the theme: “Going Beyond Strategy to Action-The Pharmacist, Your Reliable Partner” was organised by the Pharmacy Council, the regulatory body of Pharmacy practice in Ghana.
He said the theme affirmed and demonstrated the commitment of Pharmacy Council to the Ministry of Health’s (MOH) programme and activities as stated in its Programme of Work for 2012, using its mandate as well as legitimate regulatory tools available in realising this shared  vision.
Mr Nyoagbe congratulated the newly qualified members and urged them to uphold the ethics of the profession and exhibit a high sense of commitment towards the quality delivery of health care in their respective areas of operation.
He urged them to insist on high standards and shun the inordinate profit motives that override public and national interests.
Mr Nyoagbe however, stated that the success of the reforms within the health sector of which pharmacy was part depended largely on the calibre of health professionals employed.
“Human resources are a strategic capital in any sector especially in service and health organisations, where the various clinical, managerial, technical and other personnel are the principal input making it possible for most health interventions to be performed,” he said.
Mr Nyoagbe noted that human resource had a more prominent role and account for an even higher proportion of total costs in developing economies such as Ghana, which had the large number of community-based health care that relied less on equipment and advanced technology.
He argued that the performance of pharmacists was therefore, determined by the policies and practices that defined the timing of their recruitment, number, qualifications, deployment and their working conditions.
“Critical choices must therefore, be made in relation to the processes that will influence the performance and retention of pharmacists,” he said.
Mr Nyoagbe however, indicated that there were strong indications that pharmacists were eager and prepared to put their professional expertise and competence at the disposal of the Ministry towards the transformations aimed at improving access to health and pharmaceutical care, bringing efficiency, preventing and controlling diseases, thus bringing good health, wellbeing and happiness to all.
He appealed to MOH to give more attention to the regulatory sector, especially the Pharmacy Council by increasing investment, adding “It will be our hope that such investments shall be channeled into developing institutional capacities, training, infrastructure and management systems and reliable vehicles,” for effective and efficient operation.
Professor Emeritus Kwame Sarpong, Formal Provost, College of Health Sciences, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), urged the inductees to strive to attain the highest level of excellence in their careers, which included exploring innovations to meet the ever changing global health demands.
He said the new generation pharmacist needed to focus more on factors that promote changing professional roles to include activities that positively impact patients’ drug therapy outcomes through disease state management.
Mr Alban Kingsford Sumana Bagbin, Minister of Health, reminded the inductees that by their induction, they had been elevated into a respectable society which demanded excellence and hard work to put their skills and knowledge to the service of humanity.
He urged them to be guided by the principles that went into their training, eschew mediocrity in order overcome the daunting challenges ahead of them.
Mr Bagbin gave the assurance that the Ministry would continue to create the environment to make their work easier.
Mr Ebenezer Ahenkan was awarded the John Ocran Award for being the overall best student in the 2011 Ghana Pharmacy Professional Qualifying Examination; Ms Audrey Serwaa Bonsu was adjudged the best in Pharmacy Practice, while Mr Albert Kwabla Tetteh won the prize for the best in Pharmacy Law and Ethics.
They were presented with certificates and cash.

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