Message from the Registrar
Amos Masango – Registrar/CEO
Registrar Amos Masango is upbeat about the much-awaited 2nd National Pharmacy Conference, and rightly so. He reflects on the success of the first conference in 2013, and urges the profession to make every effort to be in Durban for this, the second conference, which has the hallmark of exceeding expectations.
2nd National Pharmacy Conference
The 2nd National Pharmacy Conference and the National Pharmacy Pioneer Awards dominate this issue of Pharmaciae.
Our conference is designed primarily for pharmacy in South Africa. Topics have been thoroughly researched and planned, and cover topical issues intended to guide pharmacy policy in the country. The conference takes place every third year and is an excellent opportunity for the profession to discuss issues affecting pharmacy, both nationally and internationally, and keep abreast of the latest developments in South African healthcare.
The clock is ticking, fast; registrations are taking place pretty quickly; sponsors are responding; exhibition stands are selling; and preparations are at a peak. Make sure you are counted in as part of the conference delegates. National and international speakers, exhibitors, sponsors and many other stakeholders and pharmacy colleagues are preparing to descend on the Durban ICC in October. This is our second conference and follows the hugely successful, first-ever pharmacy conference held at Sun City in June 2013. Over 700 delegates attended our first conference, two hundred more than planned, and over 1 300 delegates are expected at our 2016 conference.
In looking back, I include here a couple of the many positive comments we received:
“Dear Amos, congratulations to you and your team! It was an excellent conference and the general opinion of the attendee was the same. We all felt very proud to be part of the South African Pharmacist organisation. If there are matters arising from the discussions that took place, especially those relating to education and human resources, I will be very glad to assist, Kind regards, Mano.”
(This note was received from Professor Mano Chetty before she became president of Council in 2014.)
“Dear Council and Conference Organising Committee, I have just came back from the first ever pharmacy council conference. Congratulations to the Council for organising such an important gathering. Every detail was seen to with the utmost professionalism, I am very proud of our PHARMACY COUNCIL. We all really learned a lot from the discussions and from the important interactions and sharing with fellow colleagues in different areas of pharmacy. My view is that there will never be change in the profession without action, passion and commitment. A lot of issues were discussed, ranging from supply chain management, role of the pharmacist in communicable and non-communicable diseases, national health insurance, DSP, ownership of pharmacies, research and development. etc. I came back feeling very excited and with a great sense of enthusiasm to pursue my profession once again. I am very optimistic that there will be exciting changes in the profession and that we pharmacists can actively participate in shaping our profession. THANK YOU, Council for arranging such an excellent and professional opportunity for all the pharmacists from all the sectors to interact and share ideas, thoughts and the way forward. Looking forward to the next conference.”
I sincerely hope that no one in pharmacy is going to miss this event. Rather let us worry about the venue being too small to accommodate everyone, than your not being able to attend.
In our communications with many pharmacists, the major concern appears to be costs. Costs, however, should not overshadow the gains to be realised from the conference. We have, fortunately, negotiated reduced accommodation rates in Durban, and have engaged with Durban Tourism for better rates and packages for spouses. We are also negotiating sponsorship for transport. Developments in these areas will be uploaded to our conference website.
We are in discussions with employers to sponsor their employees and are giving discounted rates for group registrations. We are doing all on our part and urge you to do the same. The conference would not be possible without your support, as sponsors, speakers, exhibitors or delegates. For more information please visit the conference website at www.sapcconference.za.org or contact our customer care line at 0861 727 2000. The early-bird registrations close on 31 August 2016.
2016 SAPC National Pioneer Pharmacy Awards
The National Pioneer Pharmacy Awards will be the highlight of the conference and will be presented at a gala dinner on Saturday, 22 October 2016. With almost seventeen awards to be bestowed in all categories of pharmacy (professionals and facilities), one of them may come your way. A drawcard for nominees is that their conference expenses might be fully paid (terms and conditions apply).
The deadline for nominations has been extended to 14 July 2016 and we are looking forward to receiving many entries. Pharmacists are doing sterling work at their workplaces, and they deserve to be recognised and encouraged to greater heights to make pharmacy more proud than it is. The essence of the awards is to recognise excellence and quality in the provision of pharmaceutical services to our communities. We are very grateful to our sponsors for the support we receive in recognising the achievements of the special men, women and facilities in our profession.
National Pharmacy Week
National Pharmacy Week in September gives us yet another opportunity to promote the profession to the community and other healthcare workers. The theme for this year’s Pharmacy Week is Use Medicine Safely.
Let us show that we care for our patients, not only as customers paying for a service, but as patients we can help through advising them of the best ways to use their medication safely, effectively and economically.
The profession prides itself on these national events, especially if they are geared towards informing the public about medicines, so let’s grab this opportunity and make the most of it.
We also encourage the profession to please share their experiences with us. We may publish some of them in Pharmaciae. Read more about Pharmacy Week further on in this issue.