(1994; 60 pages)
6. Monitoring of pharmacy manpower development
Any plan or programme for systematic and sustained improvement in a service should include a monitoring and evaluation component to measure progress.
National strategies for attaining health for all will normally provide for the monitoring of pharmacy manpower development and pharmacy services in the framework of health systems and manpower development (HSMD).
Among indicators of coverage by primary health care suggested by WHO are:
• the existence of a selected list of essential drugs;
• the availability of such drugs at the primary health care facility whenever they are needed throughout the year.
With regard to manpower, WHO has suggested as indicators:
• the population ratio to pharmacists;
• the ratio between various types of health worker, such as doctors to nurses or to other categories of health workers; and
• the number of schools that have revised or reformed their curricula to adapt them to the needs of health for all and primary health care.
Manpower planning includes the setting of targets, and the selection of indicators of achievement and progress. These are necessarily country-specific.
The pharmacy profession, through its regulatory bodies, should institute its own arrangements for monitoring its manpower development, either independently or in cooperation with national authorities. This would mean, first, stating the manpower goals and defining the targets to be reached by a given time. With regard to manpower development, monitoring would be applied to planning, production and management of manpower, and to the interaction of these three elements. It would be concerned with, for instance, whether there are national, systematic means of taking into consideration all the variables that affect, and are changing, the nature and scope of pharmacy. Monitoring should investigate whether educational planning reflects the expanding role of pharmacists in health care teams - for example, their increasing community advisory and educational role. It should examine the use of continuing education to correct manpower imbalances, e.g., to introduce or support changes in pharmacy practice, and also the possibilities of providing incentives to attract pharmacists to unserved or underserved communities or to undermanned specialties. It asks how the continuing-education needs of pharmacists are determined, and how the impact of continuing education on pharmacy practice and community health is evaluated. In developing countries where pharmacists are in short supply the profession in cooperation with government can monitor the extent to which pharmacists at central and district levels accept responsibility for the training, supervision and guidance of non-pharmacist community health workers with certain pharmacy tasks.