Mr Alex Segbefia, the sector Minister said “the period of the Council without the Board has posed challenges to its operations since certain regulatory decisions needed the backing of the Council especially with the passage of the Health Professions Regulatory Bodies Act 857, 2013”.
The nine- member Board chaired by Dr Yaw Adu-Agyei Gyamfi also includes members from the Attorney-General’s Department.
Mr Segbefia said as an important agency under the MOH, the PC shares in the vision of the sector, which is to have a healthy population for national development with a mission to contribute to socio-economic development by promoting health and vitality.
This, he, said should be through access to quality health services for all people living in the country using motivated personnel and promoting the development of a local health industry.
The Minister noted that the government attaches seriousness to the health needs of the populace irrespective of one’s social standing or geographical location.
He explained that, the PC is the body mandated by law to regulate the practice of pharmacies in the country and therefore should help the sector achieve its set objectives.
“It is my expectation that the new governing board provides the needed strategic direction and policies to the Council to effectively carry out its mandate,” he said.
Mr Segbefia said an area of priority to the sector is in ensuring that pharmaceutical services are accessible to the populace across the country.
He said despite the council’s efforts, records available indicate that about 75 per cent to 80 per cent of pharmacies are located in the Greater Accra and Ashanti Regions, leaving the other eight regions in the country under-served with 20-25 per cent.
Also, most of these pharmacies are located in the regional capitals, resulting in most districts having no pharmacies.
He indicated that this disturbing phenomenon has serious implications for pharmacy practice with the advent of a drive towards enhancing pharmaceutical care nationwide and the consequence is that health policies such as National Health Insurance Scheme are affected by the lack of pharmacies in these areas.
He asked the council to strive to ensure that quality pharmaceutical services are gradually extended to every part of the country, whilst effort should be made to ensure that qualified applicants are not unduly delayed.
He entreated the board to put in place pragmatic policies to address the challenge as well as the counterfeit and substandard medicines into the country and the indiscriminate peddling of all manner of medicines across the country.
Dr Adu-Agyei Gyamfi said by the mandate granted to them under the Health Professions Regulatory Bodies Act, members would ensure the proper and effective performance of the council.
“As part of our mandate, we will ensure the equitable and accessible distribution of pharmaceutical services to reach the districts and the rural areas of the country rather than all premises being cited in the capital towns,” he said.
He gave the assurance of the council’s preparedness to promote effective policies through monitoring and inspection of pharmaceutical premises to reduce the fake drug menace that beset the nation.
He said the council intends to exercise disciplinary powers over pharmacists who tend to leave their premises unattended in the hands of non-professionals, which tends to affect public health.
Dr Adu-Agyei Gyamfi requested the government to give out a suitable land for the construction of an office.