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Health News of Sunday, 30 May 2021

Source: GNA

Lab Units in Ashanti Regional Government Hospitals closed

Ghana Association of Medical Laboratory Scientists are on strike Ghana Association of Medical Laboratory Scientists are on strike

Members of the Ashanti Regional Chapter of the Ghana Association of Medical Laboratory Scientists (GAMLS), serving in government hospitals, have laid down their tools.

This is in solidarity with their colleagues at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH), Ghana’s second-largest health referral facility, who had been on strike for over a week now.

Members of the KATH-GAMLS Chapter had since Thursday, May 20, been on strike to register their displeasure against what they described as the wrongful posting by the Hospital’s Management of two medical officers to the Laboratory Services Directorate (LSD) as Clinical Haematologists.

The presence of the medical officers, they contended, was a clear case of an imposition, to which effect they had written various protest letters to the Management, Ministry of Health (MoH) and related authorities, expressing their displeasure.

A visit by the Ghana News Agency (GNA) to some government hospitals within Greater Kumasi on Saturday, May 29, saw the Laboratory Units closed.

They included Suntreso, Kumasi South and Old-Tafo Government Hospitals.

Mr Eric Kofi Aidoo, the Regional Chapter Chairman of GAMLS, told the GNA that the decision to join forces with their colleagues at KATH “aimed at correcting the wrongs being perpetrated at the nation’s second-largest health referral facility.” Justifying the strike action, he pointed out that the Hospital erred in posting the medical officers to the LSD since the medical laboratory scientists were capable of handling their affairs.

“The Association will resist any attempt on the part of the Hospital’s Management to create a new unit within the current LSD structure called ‘Clinical Haematology Unit’ for these medical officers,” he said.

The industrial action by the medical laboratory scientists, who played a critical role in the healthcare delivery system, including examining and analyzing blood, body fluids, tissues and cells, had brought many inconveniences to patients visiting the state-owned health facilities.

Patients are forced to seek clinical services in private medical laboratories at relatively high fees.

The Ministry of Health (MoH), in a recent statement, appealed to the striking medical laboratory scientists to rescind their decision, and be ready for negotiations to address their grievances.

Meanwhile, an Accra High Court, on Friday, at the request of the National Labour Commission, ordered the striking laboratory scientists in public health facilities to immediately call off their industrial action.

The executives, members and agents of the GAMLS are also not to embark on any industrial action but to comply with the procedure provided under the Labour Act for resolving their dispute with their employer, according to the Court.