Seeking help for self or colleague
While Council exists to, amongst others, ensure that only qualified and fit-to-practice persons practise the scope of practice of any of the categories of professionals registered with itself, for the benefit of the public and the dignity of the Pharmacy profession, there are also mechanisms within Council to help pharmacy professionals who are at risk of unfitness to practise or who are already unfit to practise to regain their fitness – one such mechanism is the Health Committee of Council.
Health Committee: Seeking help for self or colleague
Working within a health care environment can be physically and mentally demanding. While the intensity of the COVID-19 pandemic may have subsided, its impact on health care workers’ mental health should be taken into consideration.
Circumstances such as working conditions, personal issues, and pre-existing mental health challenges may lead to an abuse of medicines or mental burnout which can make one unfit to practise his/her scope of practice as a pharmacy professional.
How to get help
As a pharmacy professional, if you are feeling overwhelmed or concerned about a colleague, the Health Committee is in place to assist you or your colleague. Should you feel that you or a colleague are unwell to perform the duties within your scope of practice, you may email the Office of the Registrar. Following receipt of your email, the Registrar will submit your information to the Health Committee for consideration at its next meeting.
Prior to the Health Committee supporting you or the individual referred to the Health Committee, you or the person referred will be required to complete a consent and declaration form. The form constitutes an undertaking by you or the person referred to the Health Committee that you/they will cooperate with the Health Committee and implement all resolutions of the Health Committee.
The Health Committee will initiate an assessment to determine your well-being or the well-being of the referred person. The Committee may request for additional information from you or the referred person to effectively support you/them back to wellness. Following the assessment and implementation of the Health Committee processes, the Committee may make a finding in respect of your/their fitness to practise the scope of practice for which they are registered for. The Health Committee may decide that you/they are fit to practise or unfit to practise or may recommended that you/they practise under the supervision of another pharmacist, while receiving support to ensure your/their fitness.
The Office of the Registrar would like to encourage registered persons to seek help early and to utilise available platforms such as the Health Committee, Employee Assistance Programmes (EAPs) and other wellness programmes offered by employers. Please note that the Health Committee processes are not intended to replace employee wellness support programmes but serve as an adjunct programme to support registered persons to maintain or restore their fitness to practise.
Sound physical and mental health is fundamental to the provision of sustainable quality pharmaceutical service for all.