The Pharmacy Council Act opens a new era for the pharmacy profession: one that recognizes the preeminence of the pharmacist in the health care setting (as the first point of contact of patients) and restores its respectability. However, the council has to be set or created (as against running an existing council) and this requires a lot of thinking and decision-making. That is what the whole Pharmacy Council team is up to.
The Council believes in a well-structured and regulated profession that cares for the continuous development of its members through training and through development of new services with added value to health care. We deem that pharmacists have the professional expertise and the will to address key challenges facing the health care system in Mauritius, including the prevalence of non-communicable diseases, the increased use of very complex and expensive medications, the ageing of our population, the scourge of drug abuse and the saturation of public health services.
The functions of the Council are described at Section 5 of the Act. They can be regrouped under 7 main themes that are:
- Control access to the profession of pharmacist through the application of a set of criteria for registration that includes a pre-registration examination; (1,2,8)
- Promote and exercise discipline within the profession through the implementation of a Code of Practice and the provision of clear procedures for initiating and conducting disciplinary proceedings (3,4)
- Establish links and cooperation agreements with other national and foreign institutions having objects that are wholly or partially similar to its own objects (5,10)
- Provide continuous professional training and development facilities for pharmacists to ensure that they are competent and updated and establish fitness to practice as a criteria for the annual renewal of registration; (9)
- Maintain a register of pharmacists and a record of all proceedings and decisions (5,6)
- Advise the Minister on any matter governed by this Act, on any matter connected with, or incidental to, it;
- To perform such duties as are conducive to the objects of the Council.
- The first draft of the Pharmacy Council Act was written in 1998 and subsequent versions followed in 2001, 2004, 2007, 20011 and in 2015. The Pharmacy Council Act was adopted in the National Assembly on the 13 October 2015 and the assent of the president was obtained on 23 October 2015.
- Parts 1–III of the Pharmacy Council Act corresponding to sections 1 to 16 of the Act were proclaimed on 1 January 2016 to allow for the holding of elections and for the constitution of the Pharmacy Council
- The first elections were held on the 27 February 2016 to elect five members from the private sector and three from the public sector.
- The full Council was constituted in March 2016 and the official composition published in the Government Gazette No. 427 of 2016 in April 2016. The composition of the Pharmacy Council is deemed to have come into force on 21 March 2016.
- The first meeting was held on the 22 June 2016 and a registrar was recruited in July 2017 and assumed duty on 1 August 2017.
- The Pharmacy Council Act was proclaimed in its totality on the 1st November 2017.