Community pharmacy in Nigeria must reflect global trends – Bukky George
Community pharmacy practice worldwide is being transformed in line with global trends, requiring practitioners in Nigeria to catch up with the pace of advancement in order to bring about overall improvement and better outcomes, Pharm. (Mrs) Bukky George, CEO, HealthPlus Pharmacy, has said.
Pharm. George, who spoke during a session at the 87th Annual National Conference of the Pharmaceuitcal Society of Nigeria (PSN), held in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, recently, urged practitioners to benchmark community pharmacy practice in Nigeria with that of developed countries and be determined to embrace best practices.
Delivering a paper titled, “Transforming Community Pharmacy Practice for Better Outcomes”, Pharm. George tasked community pharmacists in Nigeria to raise the bar in order to achieve excellence in healthcare delivery.
Noting the vital role of of community pharmacists, the HealthPlus boss emphasised that community pharmacists form part of the frontline in the battle for better health and wellbeing because they are easily accessible, adding that some pharmacies are open for 24 hours.
Pharmacists, she said, are always readily available to give sound professional advice and to help to deal with everyday health concerns and problems.
She further added that pharmacies provide convenient and less formal environment for those who cannot easily access or do not choose to access other kinds of health service.
Explaining further on how to transform community pharmacy for better outcomes in Nigeria, Pharm. George,stated that there was no need searching for clues, as practitioners can easily adopt best practices from the United Kingdom (UK), United States of America (USA), and other developed countries.
The HealthPlus CEO also advocated for improvement in the training of pharmacists, adding that all stages of pharmacy training need to be revamped in line with global best practices while ensuring local relevance.
She also urged pharmacy regulatory agencies, pharmacy associations and key leaders in community pharmacy to engage with government and highlight the value of community pharmacy and their role in healthcare delivery to the public.
Pharm. George equally advised community pharmacists to consistently strive to improve their business knowledge and skills by reading books and magazines on entrepreneurship, management, strategy execution, leadership, and the likes.
While stressing the importance of collaboration among members of the healthcare team, Pharm. George also tasked government on proper implementation of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), to ensure that roles are clearly defined and that all members of the healthcare team are equitably remunerated.