MUSCAT: With the aim of addressing the issue of providing proper training to pharmacists in the country, the Ministry of Health’s (MoH) fifth Pharmaceutical Care Conference began at the Al Bustan Palace, a Ritz-Carlton Hotel, on Wednesday.

Held under the patronage of H E Dr Ali bin Talib al Hinai, Undersecretary for Planning Affairs in MoH, the conference discussed promoting scientific researches and developments in the sector on the first day.

Speaking about the event, Professor Nussaiba Habib bin Mohammed, director general of medical supplies and chairperson of the conference said, “The profession…it is yet to find its proper position in the world market. The role of a pharmacist in the healthcare system needs to be studied well. Some of the main targets that we will discuss at the conference are investment in various technologies and achieving medical safety.”

Some of the other issues that were discussed on the first day were the problem of getting medicines from neighbouring countries and how delay in supply affects patients.

Meanwhile, Professor Hisham al Jadhey, vice dean for graduate studies and research, director of Medication Safety Research Chair College of Pharmacy, King Saud University, Saudi Arabia said, “Annually, medication errors harm atleast 1.5mn US residents, leading to around US$3.5bn in extra healthcare expenses to treat the error. We must develop specific interventions that can be incorporated to prevent such mistakes which leads to losses around the world.”

The two-day conference is being attended by delegates from around the world including the region, Scotland, the US, South Africa and Europe.