Vice-President urges Pharmacists to embrace digitalisation

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Accra, Aug. 14, GNA -Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia has urged Ghanaian Pharmacists and health care professionals to take advantage of the digital space to improve access to essential medical supplies.

He said Ghana’s quest to achieve Universal Health Coverage (UHC) would be a mirage if the need to ensure the availability of quality essential and affordable medicines delivered by competent pharmacists were not met.

He was speaking as the Guest of Honour at the first Public Lecture organised by the Pharmaceutical Society of Ghana as part of their 2019 Annual General Meeting in Accra on Tuesday on the theme: “Pharmacy in a Digital World”.

“The availability of quality essential and affordable medicines at all levels of healthcare delivery in addition to information on their appropriate usage can therefore be said to be constitute an indispensable element for Ghana’s quest at attaining UHC,” he said.

Government, he said, identifies Pharmacists as critical role players in the effective delivery of UHC, without whom the delivery of both quality medicines and pharmaceutical care services would be severely compromised.

“This critical requirement consequently underscores the need to re-position pharmacists within the public and private healthcare delivery system to respond to the demands of the day. I am of the firm belief that taking advantage of the digital space will spur you on towards this,” Dr Bawumia said.

He said the government was committed to transforming Ghana through the use of technology, and the application of ICT in healthcare delivery.

Dr Bawumia said he was impressed with the medical innovations being implemented by the young men and women in the healthcare delivery chain, especially with the use of ICT to deliver essential health care.

“We should not be afraid to be global leaders in the area of digital transformation. We should not be waiting for the advanced countries to take the lead before we follow. We are just as capable of taking the lead in some areas. We should have the confidence to innovate,” Dr Bawumia said.

He said government was in favour of equitable and mutually beneficial cooperation with all professional associations in the interests of national development.

“We will continue to pay the necessary, close attention to the issues of the pharmacists and use all the opportunities available to us primarily to address the most vital health development objectives, to achieve an economic and technological breakthrough, and to enhance competitiveness in the spheres that determine the future,” he said.

Mr Benjamin Kwame Botwe, President of the Pharmaceutical Society of Ghana (PSGH), said the PSGH was tapping into the digital world as most pharmacies were not only computerized, but were using various softwares to manage stocks thereby significantly reducing stock-outs and expiries, making them more efficient in stock management.

He said the PSGH was also providing opportunities for members to have access to new softwares by engaging developers on its relevance and cost.

Mr Botwe said the PSGH was currently collaborating with the Pharmacy Council for accreditation of various online continuing Professional Development platforms for pharmacists that would allow pharmacists in remote areas to undertake CPDs without travelling to the regional capitals.

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