Earlier in the previous month the profession was alerted to my assuming the mammoth task of serving both the public and Pharmacy profession in the capacity of Registrar of the South African Pharmacy Council (SAPC). It is indeed a privilege and honour like no other, to serve in this capacity and I do not take the opportunity lightly. While I am not oblivious to the demands of the role and the integrity with which the Office of Council must always be conducted, I am confident that our work to advance Pharmacy will continue unabated.
I derive this confidence from the knowledge of the strengths and passion of yourselves as member of the profession, stakeholders and partners. This hope for a prosperous Pharmacy profession is further cemented by the undoubted commitment of both Council members and staff members in the Office of the Registrar to the advancement of Pharmacy and the protection of the profession’s image and integrity in its service to the population of the country. I am, therefore, convinced that fulfilling the objectives and legislative mandate of Council is within reach given that there is no dearth of support, skilled contribution, and collaboration from the various partners and stakeholders who share in the vision for achieving “Accessible quality pharmaceutical care for all” by year 2023.
There is a saying in the Nguni languages of Southern Africa that goes “Indlela ubuzwa kwabaphambili” (loosely understood to mean: We know the path by enquiring from those who walked it before us). As such, I express my indebtedness and gratitude to the immediate former Registrar and CEO of the SAPC, Mr Amos Masango, for having led the Office with such dedication and passion; and for laying the path necessary to continue realising the objects of Council. Mr Masango has managed to execute the Council mandate diligently for the 16+ years that he was at the helm of the Office of the Registrar. Among the many highlights from which I draw inspiration are the following:
Consistent clean audit opinions and clean governance record
During Mr Masango’s sixteen-year tenure as Registrar and CEO, the Office of the Registrar achieved consistent good audit opinions. At the conclusion of his tenure, the SAPC had received eleven (11) consecutive clean audit opinions from external auditors.
Achieving gender and population group parity and ensuring adequate production of skilled pharmacy professionals
Together with various stakeholders, he led Council’s ambitious effort to make pharmacy accessible to all genders and population groups. These efforts saw a previously male dominated profession changing face to a predominantly female profession (more than two-thirds (68%) of all qualified registered persons are females (including interns and trainees, excluding learners and students).).
Mr Masango indeed had immense love for the Pharmacy profession and understood that pharmacy is not a trade to derive riches from, but a calling meant to better humanity.
I implore on all current and aspiring pharmacy professionals the realisation that Pharmacy is a noble profession whose ultimate benefit and reward is the definite therapeutic outcomes we achieve for patients, together with our colleagues in the multidisciplinary health care team. Profits are only a by-product of consistent meaningful pharmaceutical care and should never be our focus or reason for following a career in pharmacy.
In this issue of the e-Pharmaciae we take stock of various areas of Council’s work that has direct bearing on pharmacy professionals and their practice environment. Most pressing among matters I would like to bring to your attention is the need for practising pharmacists to comply with the Continuing Professional Development (CPD) regulations. While the majority of practising pharmacy professionals have fully complied with the 2020 minimum entries required, we still have colleagues who have not submitted at least six (6) entries. To assist these colleagues, various interventions are available from the SAPC, including an easy-to-navigate SAPC CPD Blog accessible at this link: www.sapc.za.org/cpdblog
As I look forward to what promises to be a fulfilling journey as the Registrar, I also wish to again extend our gratitude to members of the profession who continue to man the front line in the combat against COVID-19. May you continue to dispense love to our people in all the spheres of the pharmacy profession.
South African Pharmacy Council