Seasons’ Greetings from the President
Strategic Priorities (2014 – 2018)
Prof Manoranjenni (Mano) Chetty – President
As we approach the end of 2014, this foreword affords me the opportunity to reflect on the activities of the South African Pharmacy Council since February this year, and to share with you some of our focus areas for the year ahead.
The objectives of Council for the 2014-2018 period will be based on our strategic plan. The previous council, under the leadership of Mr Bada Pharasi, initiated many activities aimed at the advancement of the pharmacy profession in South Africa. In developing the strategic plan that the present council adopted in July 2014, the plans of the outgoing council were considered, to ensure continuity. In addition, areas that could be challenging for the provision of an ideal pharmaceutical service in the new proposed healthcare framework in the country have been considered.
Some of our focus areas for 2015 include:
- Development of plans to address the shortage of pharmacists and pharmacy support personnel/midlevel workers. The study on pharmacy human resources in the country conducted in 2009 highlighted the vast shortage of pharmacy personnel, especially in areas away from cities.
- Support for education and training a greater number of pharmacists and pharmacy support personnel. It is hoped that this focus area will contribute towards addressing the shortage of pharmacists in the country and also allow pharmacists to play a more effective role in patient care. The present council’s reduction in fees associated with education and training was the first contribution to this focus area.
- Consideration of innovative methods of delivery of pharmaceutical services, especially in underserviced areas and for special therapeutic areas, e.g. medication for HIV/AIDS. Council will ensure that the quality of the medicines or patient care is not compromised.
- Evaluation of the roles of pharmacists and midlevel workers in the proposed national healthcare system. Some of the questions to be asked will be:
- Are the skills and knowledge of pharmacists being used optimally in all areas of pharmaceutical services?
- Do pharmacists use support staff optimally, enabling the pharmacist to engage in ‘higher level’ activities?
- How will the specialist pharmacists contribute to the different sectors of pharmaceutical services?
- How will pharmacists and the midlevel worker contribute to inter-professional teams?
- What is the expectation for the contribution by pharmacists to the new healthcare system of the National Department of Health?
- Support and encouragement for the profession to engage in healthcare issues of national and global concern, e.g. antibiotic resistance, HIV/AIDS, malaria, and maternal/infant deaths.
- Enhancement of the services and communication between the profession, the public and students and the Office of the Registrar and his team.
- Promotion of a closer collaboration between the SAPC and other health statutory bodies.
The first National Pharmacy Conference held in 2013 successfully brought together pharmacists from all sectors of pharmacy. Many ideas for the progression of the pharmacy profession were proposed at this meeting. Discussions on those proposals will be another focus for the council in 2015. Planning for the second national conference in 2016 is another task for 2015.
As the present council prepares to engage with the challenges and opportunities in 2015, we would like to thank the pharmacy profession for the support during the past year as well as the suggestions for an improved collaboration. We also express our gratitude to the Registrar and his industrious team, who ensure that the operational functions of the SAPC are adequately fulfilled on an ongoing basis.
I wish you and your families an enjoyable festive season.
Best wishes and good luck for the New Year!