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Saturday, June 19, 2021

Lab Scientists’ strike over KATH medical specialists’ saga to be escalated

The Ghana Association of Medical Laboratory Scientists has served notice it will embark on an indefinite nationwide strike from Wednesday, May 26, 2021.

This action is in solidarity with their members at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH) who began a one-week sit-down strike last week to protest the posting of two medical officers to the Laboratory Services Directorate of the hospital.

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Calls by the Ministry of Health and management of KATH for the scientists to resume work for dialogue to begin, have yielded no results.

Speaking to Citi News, the National Public Relations Officer of the Association, Dennis Adu-Gyasi, said the decision was taken at an emergency meeting with its members.

“What is happening at KATH is an affront on the practice of medical laboratory science in Ghana. The leadership of Komfo Anokye is not ready to give in to the request of the scientists over there, and it is still imposing the medical officers on the professionals. We think it is a matter that needs to be taken up at the national level.  We think that if by Wednesday nothing happens, we will take it [issue] up and escalate the industrial action on a national scale.”

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Members of the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital Chapter of the Association have already declared a one-week sit-down strike since Thursday, 20th May, 2021, to protest the decision of the hospital’s management to keep the two medical specialists in key positions at the Directorate.

The Chairman of GAMLS-KATH, Ernest Badu Boateng, who spoke to Citi News after an emergency meeting with their members at the hospital, said the Ministry of Health and the management of KATH have the one-week window to reassign the medical specialists.

He said if the authorities fail to change their stance, all medical laboratory scientists in the country will meet to take another action.

“We are starting a sit-down strike, and this strike is going to continue up till next week Wednesday 26th May 2021. We are giving management and the Ministry this window to quickly resolve the issue concerning the posting of these two medical officers so that peace will prevail, but should we go through this strike and the situation remains the same, then the general assembly, all members will meet again to decide on the next line of action,” he said.

The management of the KATH subsequently justified its decision and reiterated its resolve not to heed the call for the removal of the said doctors from the directorate.

The management also had the backing of the Ghana Medical Association, GMA.

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