Laboratory and Medical Scientist in government health facilities across the country have begun a nationwide strike to press home their demand for the withdrawal of two medical doctors appointed to the Laboratory Unit of the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH) in Kumasi, as clinical hematologists.
Mr Abu Abudu Rahaman, President of the Ghana Association of Medical and Laboratory Scientists (GAMLS), said the action is to support the industrial action by its members at the KATH, which began yesterday.
He said the Ministry of Health and the Management at the KATH had not taken any step to address their concerns since they began their threats to embark on an industrial action.
“We are not going back to work until the issue is sorted out,” the president told the Ghana News Agency (GNA) in an interview.
He said the MOH had requested them to submit a memorandum detailing their concerns and grievances, which would be submitted by close of today.
Mr Rahaman said the Association would not relent saying, “Medical Doctors have their interest, they decided to read medicine to save mankind and we also decided to read laboratory science to save mankind, they should be in their line”.
He said allegations that Laboratory Scientists did not want other health professionals to work in the laboratory was not true.
“We allow other health professionals in the lab depending on what they are coming to the lab to do, just as we all go to the ward but we don’t take up the role of the nurse, and so all we are saying is that they can come to the lab, but they cannot come and take up our roles,” he said.
Mr Rahaman said any doctor who was interested in being a laboratory scientist should resign as a medical doctor and come on board officially as a laboratory scientist.
He apologised to the public for any inconvenience caused and appealed to Ghanaians for support.
The Association in an earlier Facebook post alleged that in the working environment, most members of the Ghana Medical Association (GMA) exhibited “gross disrespect” towards them and they had expressed concern it but no action had been taken.
GAMLS said members of GMA sometimes ignored their professional advice even at the expense of patients’ care just because “their ego comes first in all things.”
“They engage private labs even when same tests can be done in-house due to their commission-based relations with the former,” GLAMS alleged.
In the early hours of Thursday May 27, checks by the Ghana News Agency indicated that Laboratory Scientists at the Greater Accra Regional Hospital, the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital, Ashaiman Polyclinic, CLOSSAC Clinic had laid down their tools.
Efforts by the Ghana News Agency to get the GMA to respond to the allegations have, however, proved futile.
Laboratory scientists are health professionals in charge of diagnostics and are equipped with the requisite skill to investigate health issues.