Pharmacists who specialise in serving the needs of the critically ill and children with complex conditions will get their own specialist accreditation, it was announced yesterday.
The two new specialities - critical care and paediatric pharmacy - join five others: cardiology, geriatrics, infectious diseases, oncology and psychiatric pharmacy.
The Ministry of Health (MOH) introduced specialities in 2012. Since February, the Pharmacy Specialists Accreditation Board has been accrediting pharmacists with existing registrations who also have relevant experience in these fields.
Health Minister Gan Kim Yong announced the new specialities yesterday during the Singapore Pharmacy Council's pharmacist's pledge affirmation ceremony at the Singapore General Hospital.
"Structured residency programmes for new pharmacists are now being developed for these two new specialities," said Mr Gan, adding that they will be introduced in July next year.
Pharmacists who successfully complete two years of residency training - as well as achieve the required practice experience and board certification - can apply to be accredited and registered as specialists. There are currently 32 pharmacy specialists in Singapore.
Pharmacists who successfully complete two years of residency training - as well as achieve the required practice experience and board certification - can apply to be accredited and registered as specialists.
A series of development workshops was introduced in November last year to improve clinical teaching and assessment skills, said Mr Gan, adding that new training and accreditation standards for the National Pharmacy Residency Programme were introduced in April.
The residency programmes have also adopted an enhanced portfolio-based learning and assessment framework, so as to provide more structured and robust training.
"At the end of the programme, the portfolios of residents will be reviewed by two individual portfolio assessors and clarified through an oral examination to ensure that all required competencies are met, and the final outcome will be concluded by a Board of Examiners," said the MOH.
Mr Gan added: "A portfolio-building toolkit has been developed by MOH in collaboration with TTSH (Tan Tock Seng Hospital) to help pharmacists to prepare a practice portfolio in line with the competency standards."
As the Republic faces healthcare challenges - such as an ageing population, a rise in chronic diseases and growing demand for advanced healthcare - the delivery of care and use of medications must be transformed, Mr Gan said. "Pharmacists play a critical role in this transformation journey."