Pharmacists have raised concern over the government's ‘limited dialogues’ with them on the National Health Insurance (NHI) Bill, reports News24.
During parliamentary public hearings on the NHI Bill, representatives of the SA Association of Hospital and Institutional Pharmacists (SAAHIP) and Pharmaceutical Society of SA (PSSA) expressed concern about the lack of government engagement.
SAAHIP president Shawn Zeelie said: ‘We recommend that NHI discussions with pharmacists be strengthened, as they are an asset with varying skills and competencies.’ He also said pharmacists should not be recognised as ‘allied workers’, but as ‘medical workers’ due to their specific skill set.
In its submission, the PSSA said pharmacists and pharmacy support personnel constituted an independently regulated health profession. PSSA deputy president Refiloe Mogale said they could not form part of the allied health professions as pharmacists and pharmacies were regulated by the Pharmacy Act.
‘In the NHI Bill it appears that pharmacists are assumed to be included either under health professions or allied health professions. In order to be included in the NHI Bill and to participate fully in the NHI system, (it is) imperative that pharmacists be specified, recognised and listed separately and independently,’ she said.