-As AHAPN National Executives Visit Health Minister
To enhance seamless rendering of quality pharmaceutical care for the overall patient outcomes, it is imperative for the federal government to promptly implement the approved consultancy cadre for pharmacists, members of the Association of Hospital and Administrative Pharmacists of Nigeria (AHAPN), have said.
The hospital pharmacists made the remarks at their recent visit to the Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, saying that it is only when the new cadre is implemented that pharmacists can have access to patients’ bedside to administer specialised care, which will lead to better outcomes in terms of reduction in length of hospital stay.
Appreciating the minister for the rare privilege to meet with him after several attempts, AHAPN National Chairman, Dr Kingsley Amibor, explained the essence of the new position to pharmacists, while informing him of some other bottlenecks hindering their effective service delivery, as they seek government’s intervention.
He said: “This is what the consultant pharmacists have come to offer, to render specialised patient care that will lead to better outcomes in terms of reduction in length of hospital stay, reduction in costs of care and overall improvement in quality of life of patients”.
Amibor further hinted the minister on the changing roles of pharmacists across the globe, which calls for an upward review in the practice of Pharmacy in Nigeria.
“We are therefore asking for the following: Approval of standardised structure for the proper involvement of clinical pharmacists in patient care, including routine ward rounds.
“Recognition of Doctor of Pharmacy Degree (PharmD) in the hospital setting, with enhanced entry point for holders and well defined job schedules to enable them perform pharmaceutical care to our teeming patients,” he said.
The AHAPN National Chairman also prayed the minister on the upgrading of hospital compounding units to mini manufacturing units, which he said can produce drugs locally, in line with government policy of looking inwards.
He asserted that this has the capacity to reduce dependence on imported medicines and save the country scarce foreign exchange.
“We are equally asking for government to provide us with active pharmaceutical ingredients on a regular basis needed in compounding of local drugs,” he stated.
Amibor also mentioned upward review in pharmacists’ salaries, provision of adequate personal protective equipment, improvement in existing infrastructure and remodelling of pharmacy departments, payment of outstanding salaries and allowances, among other things that need government’s attention.
“Pharmacists have been on the same salary since 2014, whereas government has effected increase for some other category of healthcare workers. We call upon government to urgently increase salary of pharmacists as was done for others.
“Provision of adequate personal protective equipment for all pharmacists and other healthcare workers is essential; so also is improvement in existing infrastructure and remodeling of pharmacy departments in such a way to decongest the units, ensure effective crowd control and provide physical distancing for staff.
“In addition, payment of outstanding salaries and allowances including balance of April and May 2018 outstanding salaries for pharmacists and others; payment of outstanding Call Duty Arrears pending since 2014; payment of arrears of promotion being owed our members; payment of COVID-19 allowance to our members that practise in university and polytechnic clinics and others,” he listed.
AHAPN also seized the opportunity to present Ehanire with an Award of Excellence, in recognition of his efforts in combating the dreaded Coronavirus pandemic in Nigeria.