(By Temitope Obayendo)
L-R: Pharm. Akintunde Obembe, immediate past chairman,PSN, Lagos State; Pharm. Gbenga Olubowale, PSN chairman, Lagos and Pharm. Olumide Akintayo, president, PSN, during the event.
The Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN) has advised the Lagos State government to exercise caution in its formulation of the proposed Health Plan Bill, in order to prevent professional rancour among health care providers when the bill is eventually approved.
The newly inaugurated chairman of PSN, Lagos State branch, Pharm Gbenga Olubowale, gave this recommendation at the annual luncheon of the Society, held on 4 May, 2014, at the Sheraton Hotel & Towers, Ikeja, Lagos.
The chairman, who expressed the association’s support for the bill as a Universal Health Coverage initiative for providing managed health care to the residents of the state, emphasised the need for adequate consultation with all health care providers, as well as delineation of responsibilities, with the ultimate goal of providing quality health care to patients.
His words: “We caution the government to take into consideration the various submissions of all health care providers concerning the bill to make it all-encompassing, where there will be respect for each health care team player. This will guarantee the avoidance of the pitfall which the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) has found itself.”
Olubowale also commented on the recent wave of violence and insurgency in the country, calling on stakeholders at all levels to help restore confidence in the capability of the government to fulfil its primary obligation of protecting the lives and properties of the citizens. He added that no nation can make any significant growth with the level of chaos being witnessed in the country.
In his own contribution, chairman of the occasion, Pharm. Layi Gobir, MD/CEO, Smart Mark Ltd., stressed the need for pharmacists to be financially empowered, adding that without this, the profession would not develop as expected.
The Smart Mark boss, who alluded to his life experience as a young pharmacist, noted that but for his timely realisation that his meagre salary would take him nowhere and that he needed to have better plans for his career, he would still have been a struggling pharmacist today. He therefore charged pharmacists in Lagos to be proactive professionally and financially.
The multifaceted event also featured inauguration of new executives, presentation of awards to past chairmen of the Society, and awards to the eight best graduating students of the 2012/2013 session of the Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Lagos.