From Fred Ezeh, Abuja
The federal government kick-started the implementation of the pharmacist consultant cadre within the health care system in Nigeria.
It was gathered that circular to the effect was released by the Office of the Head of Civil Service of the Federation (OHCSF) on September 11, 2020, with the heading: “Approved scheme of service for pharmacist consultant cadre in the Federal civil/public service”.
It was also gathered that Federal Ministry of Health, had in 2015, directed all its Departments and Parastatals/Agencies to recognize and accept the students of the West African College of Pharmacists (WACP) for Residency Programme and provide necessary assistance to make the programme a success in line with the quest to develop the requisite manpower needed to feed the newly created cadre.
Registrar, Pharmacists’ Council of Nigeria (PCN), Elijah Mohammed, in his remarks, at a sensitisation workshop to kickstart the implementation of the programme thanked those who fought tirelessly and were persistent in their quest for improved pharmaceutical services in Nigeria.
He was sure that the implementation of the consultancy services will further strengthen the pharmaceutical services and ensure that patients who are at the centre of health care services enjoy better and improved attention.
He also confirmed that the journey to achieving the recognition was arduous, challenging, uphill but rewarding, hence the charge on the practitioners to prove that the cadre is expedient for the progress and future of pharmacy in Nigeria.
Chairman, PCN Governing Council, Prof Tijjani Mora, in his remarks, neutralised the fear that the implementation of the consultancy cadre could trigger rivalry and acrimony between pharmacists and other health workers particularly doctors.
On the contrary, he explained that the new cadre will improve the chances of mentorship and ensure that professional competency is enhanced.
Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Health, Dr Abdullahi Mashi, gave assurance that Federal Ministry of Health will liaise with the National Salaries, Income and Wages Commission to include Consultant Pharmacists in the specialist’s allowance for consultant healthcare professionals.
He said the salary structure for the Consultant Pharmacists Cadre is contained as the Consolidated Health Salary Structure (CONHESS) 13 – 15, which is the equivalent of the Salary Grade Level (SGL) 15 -17.
He encouraged PCN, being the Agency of Government charged with responsibility among others, of regulating and controlling pharmacy education, training and practice in all aspects and ramifications, to justify the confidence reposed on it for the appropriate implementation of the scheme.