The Rural Pharmacy and Rural Health Services in the Perspective of the Individuals Community Protection (English version)
Pharmaceutical services are one of the vital components of the health system, both in the urban environment, but more so in the rural environment. It is wellknown that the inhabitants of rural areas have limited access to medical services due to several factors: health workers (physicians, dentists, pharmacists, nurses, midwives etc.) in insufficient numbers or unevenly distributed in the territory, meagre equipment in medical practices, faulty infrastructure, and, last but not least, the standard of living and the level of education of the inhabitants of these areas. This phenomenon has become more pronounced of late, due to the closing of several medical facilities, as well as to the exodus of medical professionals towards other countries. In these circumstances, maintaining pharmacies in the rural environment is a necessity; however, the numerous current dysfunctionalities in organisation and law jeopardise the existence and the normal operation of rural pharmacies. In such a pharmacy, community members are counselled with respect to medication, to how it must be used, to side-effects, so that its main goal, patient-centred health care services, is reached. At the same time, the rural pharmacy may become involved in the social life of the community, taking part, together with the other professionals in the primary care team, in actions for detecting and preventing chronic disease, infectious disease and STD, and for referring patients to specialists. The pharmacist may also contribute to the health and hygiene education of the rural dwellers, may promote contraceptive means, may give advice and indications to young mothers, may warn about the dangers of alcohol and tobacco etc. For this reason it is necessary that the authorities analyse with a maximum of responsibility the dysfunctionalities currently present in the system of pharmaceutical services, to develop long-term strategies on welldocumented grounds, through which to provide pharmacies with a solid base for exercising its role in the global community protection.
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