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Volume 20 - Issue 3, May-June 2018
SPECIAL ARTICLES
A SITUATIONAL ANALYSIS OF THE CURRENT STATE AND WORKING CONDITIONS OF CLINICAL PHARMACY IN SOUTH AFRICA
BRONKHORST ELMIEN, SCHELLACK NATALIE, GOUS ANDRIES GS


Background: In South Africa, the past several years has seen an increase in pharmaceutical care activities related to clinical pharmacy, however in small, specific areas. The healthcare system in South Africa consists of a two-tiered health system (public and private), both of which reported on pharmaceutical care activities.
The main challenges to performing pharmaceutical care are the time constraints.

Objective: To describe the working environment (e.g. staff complement and hospital level of care) that the pharmacist practicing as a «clinical pharmacist» is working in, in South Africa.

Setting: Private and public hospitals in South Africa.

Methods: The study employed a quantitative electronically-administered questionnaire, used to determine the working environment of the institutional pharmacist and identify hospitals in which pharmaceutical care is conducted. The study used non-probability purposive sampling including private and public hospitals across South Africa.

Main outcome measure: The number of pharmacists performing pharmaceutical care in hospitals in South Africa.

Results: The response rate to the questionnaire was 78.3%. In 87 private hospitals the mean number of beds were 153.06 (±SD 99.18) and in 21 public hospitals 847 (±SD 665.87). The mean number of pharmacists per hospital was 3.88 (±SD 2.33) (private) and 17.21 (±SD 3.54) (public). Ward-based activities were identified
mostly in Gauteng, (28 hospitals), followed by Western Cape and KwaZulu-Natal. Smaller provinces only reported isolated institutions with ward-based pharmacy activities.

Conclusion: Ward-based pharmacy activities were concentrated in larger provinces. Clinical pharmacy as a specialization cannot be registered at the pharmacist regulatory body in South Africa as yet, official clinical pharmacists have not been appointed in allocated posts in the public sector, and the private sector has created
ward-based pharmacist or clinical practice pharmacist posts to bridge the gap.

CLINICAL PHARMACY – HEALTHCARE SYSTEM – HUMAN RESOURCES



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