Why have you decided to run as a candidate for the presidency of the Las Palmas COF?
This was a process based on having conversations and analyzing the reality of the School and colleagues, since we see that for a few years the majority comment was that we did not feel represented by the School, that the School did not contribute anything to us and that the Payment of fees, more than an investment, was a mandatory expense. Then, we also realized that, despite all this reality that they transmitted to us, nobody was presenting an alternative to the management that existed and, well, we thought that to change the situation we had to roll up our sleeves and present ourselves and commit ourselves to the School and all its members, regardless of the modality they exercise.
It is the first time that there will be a woman president, why do you think it has taken so long?
I think it is a reflection of what is happening in the world and everywhere. Women are assuming responsibility in management bodies in which perhaps before we did a bit of neglect because we gave priorities to other things and we are in a mostly female union and it is normal for the management team to reflect that reality, but not as something demanding nor necessary, but as a natural process in which we are all equal and we share interests.
How do you assess the management of the outgoing board?
The outgoing president and his team have managed the College the best they have known and could, we have to thank them for their time, effort and dedication during these nine years, but we are a few hours away from the elections and the current president, who is in functions for a year, no longer appears. So I don’t think it should be valued by me as a candidate, but by the group that is going to vote in a few hours.
What alternative does your program offer?
The main point of the team that I lead is to recover the image of the College, both externally and internally, but mainly internally, for that reason it had before. We have a program aimed at providing better services, having better communication channels, betting on transparency and dialogue. There are important challenges such as solving the problem created by the new headquarters or recovering the role that corresponds to us as health workers. Then, we must take into account the insular reality, and we also have a society that is changing by leaps and bounds and then we see ourselves with the sale of medicines online. Also reaffirm the role of hospital pharmacists, Public Health, analytics, because it seems that the only ones who are visible are those who are on the street. Well, we have prepared 45 points to specify all these aspects and we have been sharing them with colleagues.
What would you say are the strengths and weaknesses of the Las Palmas COF?
The main strength is the potential to unify data and criteria, to create synergies and to become a useful tool for the profession and for the people who practice it. The main weakness at this time is the detachment that many of its members feel.
“Many colleagues have felt that they have lacked support during the pandemic”
And her strengths and weaknesses as a possible president?
I would say that my main strength is the team with which I present myself and the clarity of the work that has to be done and, let’s see, I have been a professional for 30 years. My weakness, perhaps, is my over-commitment, which sometimes haunts me.
What things, yes or yes, would you say they have to change within the collegiate body?
To begin with, the way to communicate with the members and the transparency of the actions of the College, but we must also optimize resources, analyze and catalyze the realities of the profession, have greater social involvement, improve management with the administration, coordinate ourselves with universities and promote research fields, defend the interests of the collective and the profession. We must face the present and the future with an innovative look and trying to solve problems and not give them, but also anticipate them.
The College is an active entity. What projects would you like to undertake if elected?
We would like to continue in this line, but we would much more like to be able to improve it. On the one hand, active participation in regional and national management and decision-making bodies. The councils and commissions must have a voice that expresses the needs of the Canary Islands and the reality of the professionals. And then, issues such as the administration of drugs that are prescribed in a hospital or community pharmacy. Here you always need the active participation of pharmaceutical professionals. The other point is that we are in society and we must enrich it as a group, we have an NGO, which is Pharmaceutical Solidarity, to which we have to support and promote participation and research grants and participate in social inclusion.
Pharmacists have been on the front line of the pandemic, do you think their work is being recognized as it deserves?
I think that society does recognize us, but in reality, the one who may have a bit of a pending account with the group is the College. In our opinion, he should have been more of a defender and gallant of the safety of pharmacists. Many have felt that they have lacked support, those who work in hospital pharmacy, in Public Health, in tourist pharmacies … It has been a complex and new situation, that is clear, but the school could have been a bit more of a beacon.
What challenges would you say exist in the face of this new stage?
Actually it is what I said before, improve the way we communicate, transparency in actions, managements with the administration, defend the interests of the group, unify criteria. And well, in summary, that the Official College of Pharmacists of Las Palmas regains the trust of the members.