Pharm. Anthony Bola Oyawole is a presidential candidate of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN) in the November 2018 election. Oyawole who is a Fellow, West African Postgraduate College of Pharmacists; Fellow, PSN and Fellow, Nigeria Academy of Pharmacy has released 15-point agenda to actualise his dream. In this interview with CHIOMA UMEHA he explains why he wants to lead the noble organisation hence forward. Excerpts:
Why do you want to take over from Pharm. Ahmed Yakasai as president of PSN?
After rounds of consultations with the rank and file of the PSN membership, I believe I have requisite qualities that can make me consolidate our gains of the last two decades through an admixture of positive aggression, confidence, zeal and tactful diplomacy of some of our past presidents, which I shall build on.
What gave you the conviction that you are the man for the presidency of the PSN?
The success story of the last five years are particularly close to my heart as a prominent member of the PSN ‘War cabinet’ in the immediate last two dispensations. I was chairman of the Strategy Committee of the PSN in the 2012-2015 era. In this same era, I was chairman of the PSN Constitution Review Committee which produced the present PSN constitution in 2013.
From 2016, I have also anchored the PSN Law and Ethics Committee, in addition to being the Desk Officer in charge of Association of Professional Bodies of Nigeria (APBN) which continues to give me detailed exposure to the Presidents of all the Professional bodies in Nigeria. These experiences have adequately prepared me to steer the ship of the PSN in the foreseeable future. I must say with a deep sense of responsibility that I have not been double minded in my cardinal goal of joining the prestigious league of men of honour who ever led the PSN.
What is your agenda to move the PSN to the next level?
One of the issues on my agenda is achieving fee-based practice to boost pharmacy practice.
What does actualising fee-based practice entail?
Our profession continues to grow on numerous fronts. Efforts were made in the past to institutionalise professional stamps and seals which are supposed to be regulatory tools. We shall partner the Pharmaceutical (PCN) to ensure the stamps and seals become the epitome of professionalism as it shall be recognised as a tool to earn professional fees like is the case in Law, Accountancy, Engineering etc. The actuals in this regards would be perfected under my Presidency.
Promotion of group/collaborative practice
Modern day professional practices and businesses are anchored on mega-structures housing members of the health team under one mega complex in such settings as seen in Europe, USA and Asia. The pharmacist supplies all drugs and medical consumables to the different professional practices. This in addition will create the much desired harmony in the health team. We must therefore begin to orientate players in our private sector to embrace new thinking and fresh ideas in the quest to adopt global learnings moving forward. Also, retail, distribution, importation and manufacturing outfits must contemplate mergers to assume global posture.
On the flip side, pharmacists because of their training and position in the health team must lead the way in building needed confidence to collaborate with other care providers in medicine, laboratory sciences, physiotherapy, radiography and others.
We must begin to join forces in the private sector to come up with functional and competence based private health complexes which will shift attention to Nigeria for health needs. The collaborative practice model will drive better participation in our social Health Insurance.
Research and development in practice
The PSN is certainly overdue for a research and development department at its national secretariat. This will feature data gathering in all areas of practice to allow us influence policy direction at state and federal government levels. Recent concerns on the menace of drug misuse and abuse as well as the response of PSN which was commended by National Assembly and all stakeholders because the PSN ‘war chest’ remained alive to its responsibilities.
In the nearest future, we should be able to lead the way in health planning, emergency response lead time and related ideals with a functional Research and Development Department at the PSN National Secretariat.
Establishment of the National Postgraduate College of Pharmacists
The residency training programme and consultancy cadre for pharmacists in Nigeria is an open invitation to divest the institutional templates available to train personnel for this vital human resource in healthcare in Nigeria. Even when the WAPCP continues to make some progress in the quest for adequate capacity building in the sub-region, a need arises at this juncture to have a training platform approved by an act of parliament that serves the exclusive national interest that can statutorily draw from the annual budget of the FMOH in post graduate trainings currently enjoyed by doctors alone.
We will be talking with the committee of Deans under PCN to fashion the training in line with the current arguments of the medical doctors to enable the ferent specialists in pharmacy become professors with time, practice, research and papers presented
Experienced pharmacists in different specialists of practice will be encouraged to teach as adjuncts to enrich studies and research paper.
I will liaise with stakeholders to organise a summit to re-model the undergraduate curriculum to produce eight-star personnel pharmacists in the future.
I will work with ACPN to re-fashion our Community Pharmacies to stock veterinary medicines and accessories which will become compulsory in the next 10 years.
Life assurance welfare scheme
A contributory life assurance welfare scheme shall be instituted. The fund which shall be continually invested in bonds and treasury bills to ensure its growth shall be managed by a Board of Trustees setup for this endeavour. The benefits to the family or next of kin of any deceased financial member shall be one million naira or as may be determined from time to time by the Board of Trustees.
Judicial redress of offensive development
The PSN must become a lot more proactive in dealing with situations which amount to clogs in the wheels of progress in the profession. We shall ensure maximal protection of the profession to boost the spirit of pharmacy jurisprudence.
Construction of PSN property at Victoria Island, Lagos
This property which has suffered hiccups in terms of the execution of agreements for building by developers will be a major priority in the new dispensation as we shall attempt to develop through internally generated revenue. If elected President, I will work with the NEC to complete this project before the end of my tenure. The major advantage the Pharmacy House, Victoria Island, Lagos project will bring to bear remains the immense influx of funds which the society needs very much for stability and consolidation of its various endeavours in the years ahead.
The routine programmes
For instance, the annual national conferences had been tinkered within the last few years to make it more impactful. The chaos associated with registration is now better managed through e-line registration. The salient highlights to improve upon include; Bracketisation of the opening ceremony into business and ceremonial spheres. We shall infuse new strategies to make the opening ceremony more compact and eventful.
The plenary sessions at conferences have been re-packaged to justify the credit points allotted to participants for MCPD by PCN. These sessions are hosted in befitting venues and supervised by PCN chieftains. We shall ensure the sessions’ topics revolves around specialisation in practice to
|Pharm. Anthony Bola Oyawole|
The conferences must be structured to showcase the well admired scientific background of pharmacists as poster sessions where abstracts will be displayed become an integral part of the conference.