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Health News of Tuesday, 25 May 2021


No assurance, no meeting - Striking lab scientists at KATH serve notice to management

A lab scientist at work (File photo) A lab scientist at work (File photo)

• Laboratory scientists at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital have, since last week, laid down their working tools

• The group boycotted a meeting with management that was set for Monday, May 24, 2021

• The National Labour Commission has, in the meantime, scheduled a meeting for next week with all the stakeholders, to try to resolve the issues

We will only go to the negotiation table with the management of KATH when there is an assurance that our demands will be met. That’s the position of the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital chapter of the Ghana Association of Medical Laboratory Scientists (GAMLS-KATH).

According to the laboratory scientists who began a one-week sit-down strike last week, in protest of the posting of two medical specialists to the Laboratory Services Directorate of the hospital, until that is done, they will stand firm in their decision to boycott work.

There have been calls by the Ministry of Health and management of KATH for the scientists to resume work, and for dialogue to begin, but all these have not yielded the required outcomes, reports

While at that, the authorities of the hospital have resorted to using the services of other private laboratories to meet the needs of their patients who require such services as have been withdrawn by the lab scientists.

A threat by the National Association of the Laboratory Scientists has also been issued, with chances that it could be escalated to cover the rest of the country if their concerns are not met soon.

Chairman of the Association at KATH, Ernest Badu-Boateng, insisted that management that is unwilling to fulfill its part of the bargain is not one they can dialogue with.

“Yes, we believe in dialogue, but we can’t dialogue with a management that has taken an entrenched position. They [Management] want us to call off the strike. That is fine. But we need to have neutral grounds, we want the doctors to be reassigned, we have made this point clear enough. Once this is done, we can sit and talk.

“They can’t keep insisting that the doctors have the right to be there and expect us to agree to negotiate with them. What will we be negotiating over?” he said on Citi FM’s Eyewitness News.

This past Monday, the laboratory scientists at KATH boycotted a meeting with management of the hospital explaining that they did not see the “essence of going for the meeting.”

“They [management] have made it clear to us that the issue is beyond them, and lies with the Ministry,” Ernest Badu-Boateng added.

“The solution, for now, lies with the Ministry of Health, they must instruct management of KATH to reassign the two physicians. That way, there will be a level playing field for us. We can’t go for the meeting with one party, being on the losing end,” he further said.

KATH management has said that it will be impossible to reverse the decision as it was taken by its board.

In the meantime, the Executive Secretary of the National Labour Commission (NLC), Ofosu Asamoah, says the Commission plans to meet all the stakeholders in the matter next week, to be able to get to the bottom of the concerns raised.