The Ghana Medical Association (GMA) has warned that doctors in Public Health facilities across the country will be forced to reject laboratory results without authorization by qualified Laboratory physicians should what they say is the lawlessness and impunity in the laboratory space being perpetuated by members of Ghana Medical Laboratory Scientists (GAMLs) is not stopped immediately.
Members of Ghana Association of Medical Laboratory Scientists, Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital Chapter, began a one-week sit-down strike on Thursday, May 20, 2021, to demand a reversal of the decision to move two laboratory Physicians (haematologists) who had been transferred to the hospital’s laboratory department.
Members of the chapter then declared an indefinite strike that started on Thursday, May 27, 2021, following the one-week sit-down strike to protest the posting of two haematologists to the Laboratory Service Department of the hospital. Members of the association in other hospitals have also thrown their weight behind their weight behind the colleagues at KATH. The industrial action has led to many patients resorting to private labs.
But addressing the media in Koforidua Sunday May 30,2021, the GMA said attempt by the Laboratory scientists in public health facilities to monopolize the laboratory space will not be countenance. According to the GMA, the phenomenon is widespread as it singled out, the Komfo Anokye, Korle-Bu, and Cape Coast Teaching hospitals where the say the situation is prevalent.
“The view that only medical laboratory scientists regulated by the Allied Health Professions should work in the hospital laboratories to the exclusion of all other cadres of the Laboratory professionals (especially laboratory physicians) in Ghana is erroneous and ill-intentioned”.
“Over the past couple of years some cadre of Laboratory Physicians have been prevented from performing their functions within the laboratory in the KorleBu Teaching Hospital (KBTH) especially and now Komfo Anokye and Cape Coast Teaching Hospital”. The GMA President Dr. Frank Ankobea said
He continued “When push comes to shove, the GMA and its members may be forced to reject laboratory results without authorisation by qualified laboratory Physicians at a point in time”.
The association also how some of its members are being threatened with death and bodily harm and called on the Ministry of Health to act, else they’ll be forced to respond in equal measure.
The GMA has also called for broader stakeholder engagement to comprehensively address the issue.
Click here for the GMA’s full communique